The internet infrastructure linking North America with Asia is about to get a whole lot faster, as a giant undersea fiber cable partly funded by Google is set to go live today.
The undersea cable, known as the "Faster Cable System", was constructed by NEC and funded by a consortium of six companies that include Google and several Asian telecom giants. Amounting to 9,000 km of cable, Faster spans from Oregon in the United States to two landing points in Japan's Chiba and Mie prefectures.
NEC says the six-fiber pair cable is capable of 60 terabits per second of throughput, making it the only trans-pacific cable to offer this sort of capacity. Impressively, NEC created this cable using extremely low-loss fiber without a dispersion compensation section, instead relying on digital processing to compensate for dispersion at the ends of the cable.
When the Faster Cable System was initially announced in 2014, it was expected to cost around $300 million to construct. It's not clear how much Google specifically invested into the cable, but it's not the first international cable investment by the company as they look to own more network infrastructure.
There were "many challenges during the construction" of Faster, according to NEC's Project Manager Kenichi Yoneyama, however the finished product will "not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region."