Google Has Turned on Its US-Japan Undersea Cable

Illustration for article titled Google Has Turned on Its US-Japan Undersea Cable

People of the West Coast, get ready for faster internet. After two years of building, the undersea cable Google built between the US and Japan is now live.


The $300 million high-speed network—unsubtly named FASTER—carries data at 60 terabits per second from Oregon to Chikura and Shima in Japan. From Oregon, the cable connects to Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

Undersea cables aren’t a new idea and more and more tech companies are laying them down. Google’s project isn’t even the fastest one around.


In May, Facebook and Microsoft said they would collaborate on an undersea cable that would blow Google’s out of the water by transmitting data at 160 terabites per second. Theirs would be the highest-capacity cable on earth—but it’s also not here yet. Meanwhile, Google’s project is ready to use. Let’s hope their team learned from the mistakes of previous cables and reinforced this new one so that it doesn’t keep getting eaten by confused sharks.

[Google via Business Insider]

Angela Chen is the morning editor at Gizmodo.

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Dumb question for some prob, but why do this at all? Why not use satellites and big server houses etc. to do stuff now. Why lay a cable to japan, how does that help us or them? Cant we connect to them through other means? Why does the cable provide something that a big room, or underground cabling here would not provide? I get faster Enet, but why not just make it faster some other less invasive way, or something else all together. I am just lost on they WHY part of it.