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Trans-Pacific FASTER fibre fires first photons, finally

Google-backed cable ready for service

Backed by Google and built by NEC, the FASTER consortium submarine cable has been lit up.

The 9,000 km trans-Pacific cable connects two locations in Japan – the Chiba and Mie prefectures – to US hubs covering Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle.

As well as The Chocolate Factory, the 60 Tbps design capacity cable was co-funded by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and Singtel.

The Japanese landing facilities were chosen to avoid tsunami risk.

As Google's Alan Chin-Lun Cheung notes it's currently the highest-capacity submarine cable ever built. Google's signed on for 10 Tbps of the cable's capacity.

That capacity is delivered by Google's exclusive access to two of the cable's fibres, each with 100 wavelengths running 100 Gbps.

For Google, the cable will support the launch of the East Asia Region of its Google Cloud Platform, in Tokyo, which will go live later this year.

NEC began construction of the cable in 2014, and the company says it's the first cable designed from the ground seabed up to use coherent transmission technology. ®

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