Although the new undersea project isn’t expected to be completed until 2022, Google anticipates that the new project will mark many firsts for the big tech company as it sets out on the two-year enterprise.
According to Bikash Koley, vice president of Google Global Network, the initiative marks Google’s first private investment in a private subsea cable route to the UK, and its first-ever cable route to Spain.
The Tuesday-issued release on the development notes that the undersea cable, which has been named after computer science engineer Grace Hopper, will connect New York to Bude, a seaside resort town in England’s Cornwall county that sits at a distance of more than 3,000 miles from the Empire State. A second, split connection will go from New York to Bilbao, Spain.
“Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the US and UK since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud,” reads the blog post.
“The Spanish landing point will more tightly integrate the upcoming Google Cloud region in Madrid into our global infrastructure.”
“Grace Hopper will incorporate novel optical fiber switching that allows for increased reliability in global communications, enabling us to better move traffic around outages,” the announcement states, noting that the project will mark the “world’s first submarine cable” to incorporate “innovative switching architecture into the system.”
The Grace Hopper cable, due to be built by New Jersey-based provider SubCom, is expected to be fitted with 16 fiber pairs that will ultimately be able to transport between 340 and 350 terabytes of information per second, Business Insider reported.
At present, Google has three other subsea cable projects, with the Curie, which runs from the US’ West Coast to Panama and Chile, being the only one that is officially completed. The Dunant cable - stretching from the US to France - is expected to be finished later this year, whereas the Equiano cable may be finalized in 2021.
Unlike Google’s other cable initiatives, the Equiano cable route, which will run from Portugal to South Africa, will be fitted with multiple branching units in the event that additional connection points are made to interested African nations. The cable currently has a sole branching unit in Lagos, Nigeria.