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Google is contributing to a $300 million project to develop and operate a Trans-Pacific high-speed internet cable system called “FASTER.” Other companies involved in the venture include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and SingTel, with NEC acting as the system supplier. This group effort will utilize a high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies.

The project’s design capacity is expected to be 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs), which will be used to connect the US to two landing locations in Japan: Chikura and Shima. FASTER will also connect to other neighboring systems to extend its capacity to other Asian countries beyond Japan. The system’s US connectivity will extend to parts of the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle recently took to Google+, sharing his thoughts on the project:

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 US 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.

This new project lines up with Google’s efforts to bringing faster, more reliable internet access to different parts of the world, which also helps keep more people connected to its many web-based services. Construction for FASTER will begin right away, with the system’s launch being expected to take place during the second quarter of 2016.

A Global Consortium to Build New Trans-Pacific Cable System “FASTER”Contract has been awarded to NEC to build new 60Tb/s system expected to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016

August 11, 2014 – A consortium of six global companies announced that they have signed commercial agreements to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific cable system to be called “FASTER” with NEC Corporation as the system supplier. The FASTER cable network will connect the United States to two landing locations in Japan. The total amount of investment for the FASTER system is estimated to be approximately USD $300 million.

 

In order to address the intense traffic demands for broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange on the Trans-Pacific route, FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs).

 

This new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

 

The six-company consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel. The name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system’s purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

 

Mr. Woohyong Choi, the chairman of the FASTER executive committee, 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.”

 

“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,” said Mr. Naoki Yoshida, general manager at NEC’s Submarine Network Division. “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.”

 

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016.

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