Not content with being one of the biggest search engines in the world, Google is branching out into new sectors including autonomous vehicles and Fibre Internet and TV services. Already, the company is offering their Fibre services to those that live in and around the Kansas area, however recent reports have shown that they are now looking to take on a much larger project.
Along with five Asian telecom and communication companies (China Mobile's international unit China Mobile International, China Telecom Corp Ltd's international arm China Telecom Global, TIME Dotcom Bhd's Global Transit, KDDI Corp and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd), Google is developing a $300 million underwater cable network joining Japan and the US. The project – named ‘FASTER’ – will provide high speed Internet services to Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle in the US and Chikura and Shima in Japan.
Discussing the project, executive chairman of FASTER, Woohyong Choi, said: "FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world. These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications. The consortium partners are glad to work together to add a new cable to our global infrastructure. The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world. The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Naoki Yoshida, general manager at NEC’s Submarine Network Division, said: “NEC Corporation is proud to be the system supplier for the FASTER cable system, a state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth. Backed by more than 30 years of experience in constructing over 200,000 kilometers of cables, NEC is one of the world’s top vendors of submarine cable systems.”
The project is expected to start immediately, with completion predicted for the second quarter of 2016. Once completed, the network will be able to provide 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs) – speeds that numerous people across the globe currently don’t have access to. Google has claimed that FASTER will also be able to connect to neighbouring cable systems, enabling those in other areas to benefit from high speed Internet services.
The issue of rural broadband is something that affects the entire world, including the UK, which is why there were rumours earlier this year that Google was planning on offering its Fibre services here. Even though Google quickly quashed these rumours, it’s still of note that the company is looking into ways to reduce the digital divide across the world. Fluidata has also been working on new ways to reduce the digital divide, such as creating our Service Exchange Platform (SEP) which won us The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2014.
Even though Fluidata specialises in providing connectivity and security solutions for businesses, we accept the fact that rural broadband is an issue that should be taken seriously by anyone that works in the technology industry. This is why we created our Service Exchange Platform (SEP) which enables Layer-2 access to a wide range of connectivity carriers that offer Tier-1 services across both the UK and Europe. As of now, over 65 ISPs use SEP in order to offer their clients connectivity solutions as well as the choice of DSL, FTTC, FTTH, Fibre and Wireless technologies.
Our ultimate aim is to connect every single network using SEP so that rural broadband in the UK becomes a thing of the past. Networks such as FASTER would therefore be beneficial not just in Japan and the US but also the UK, as by utilising SEP they would be able to offer high speed Internet connections to entire nations and eliminate the issue of rural broadband.