Since Google announced an undersea cable partnership with Asian telecom giants to build a 9,000Km cable line between the US and Japan in 2014, It was recently announced that the project was now completed and activated. The cable can transport data at 60 terabits per second (60 million Mbps) is expected to be a significant boost to trans-pacific internet speeds.
“The 9,000km trans-Pacific cable, the FASTER Cable System, lands in Oregon in the United States and two landing points in Japan, namely Chiba and Mie prefectures. The system has extended connections to major hubs on the West Coast of the U.S. covering Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. The two landing points in Japan facilitate the cable’s easy access to major cities in Japan. FASTER’s robust and resilient connectivity to many neighbouring cable systems extends the cable’s capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations.”
The project cost about $300m/96b Naira.
Google is not alone in this as Microsoft and Facebook announced a similar partnership few months ago.
In order to lay such cables, specially designed ships which can lay up to 200Km per day and while the cables are thin, they are given an extra layer protection using wires and steel to prevent damage. It’s quite expensive to maintain them once damaged as these cables have come under threat from shark attacks as well. Google reportedly coated its cables with Kevlar coating in 2014 exactly for the purpose of preventing shark attacks.
As the tension between Western powers and Russia deepens, one country at the fore front of this is worried that Russian vessels are too close to vital undersea cables. The United States is worried that Russia may be planning to cut these cables that carry more than $10tr/1.9 Quadrillion Naira / 1 Quadrillion KES in global business daily. The cables in question also carry about 95% of global data.
Inside the Pentagon and the nation’s spy agencies, the assessments of Russia’s growing naval activities are highly classified and not publicly discussed in detail. American officials are secretive about what they are doing both to monitor the activity and to find ways to recover quickly if cables are cut. But more than a dozen officials confirmed in broad terms that it had become the source of significant attention in the Pentagon.
Featured Image Credit: Computer World UK