The US and Asia will soon be connected by a trans-Pacific cable network that will carry data at — hold your breath — 60 terabits per second.
The high-speed network, named FASTER (you know, than just about everything else on the planet), will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan, reports Reuters. Five Asian telecom companies - China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel - and Google will invest $300 million into this network, which will be ready for service in the second quarter of 2016.
Here's what Urs Hölzle, Google's senior vice president of technical infrastructure, had to say in a post published on Google+:
At Google we want our products to be fast and reliable, and that requires a great network infrastructure, whether it's for the more than a billion Android users or developers building products on Google Cloud Platform. And sometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean. That's why we're investing in FASTER, a new undersea cable that will connect major West Coast cities in the U.S. to two coastal locations in Japan with a design capacity of 60 Tbps (that's about ten million times faster than your cable modem). Along with our previous investments – UNITY in 2008 and SJC (South-East Asia Japan Cable) in 2011, FASTER will make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia.
The use of undersea cables to carry communication across continents isn't as new as you might think. They've been in use for more than 150 years, and the method of laying them has remained fairly consistent since the beginning. Check out this fascinating map of all the undersea cables to get an idea of how vast and complex this network is. [Reuters]