Google sinks cash into more submarine cables, plans more data centres

South America, Europe and Asia get pipes, DCs for Finland, Honkers and Hollywood


Google has made more investments in submarine cables, sinking money into three due to come online in 2019.

First up is the Curie Cable System, which will link the United States and Chile. This one's all Google's: the company says it will “control the design and construction process”, so when the cable is in service it can “make routing decisions that optimise for latency and availability”.

Google hasn't stipulated the number of fibres or lit capacity for Curie, but said it will be the first new cable to land in Chile in the last 20 years.

The cable will have a branching point for a possible future connection to Panama.

A new trans-Atlantic cable, Havfrue – Danish for mermaid – will connect the US to Denmark and Ireland. For this cable, Google joined existing investors Facebook, Aqua Comms and Bulk Infrastructure.

TE SubCom announced its contract to build Havfrue last week and said the cable will have a initial capacity of 108 Tbps, with room for more after future upgrades.

Havfrue is currently at the route survey stage, with completion due by the end of 2019, and the design includes an optional branch that could land in Norway.

The third cable will cover a shorter distance, running from Hong Kong to Guam, the Pacific island that is a hub for cables.

NEC and RTI Connectivity began construction of the Hong Kong-Guam Cable System in April 2017, and Google said joining the group will create “multiple scalable, diverse paths to Australia, increasing our resilience in the Pacific.”

Also slated for completion towards the end of 2019, the HK-G cable has a design capacity of 48 Tbps.

The three investments join eight existing cable projects Google has taken an interest in. Four of these – UNITY, SJC, FASTER and Monet – are in service, and another four are under construction. Of those, two are smaller South American projects; the Pacific Light Cable Network, shared with Facebook, will cross the Pacific by the end of 2018, and INDIGO should connect Western Australia to Singapore by Q1 2019.

Mountain View's announcement noted its plans also include cloud regions coming online this quarter in The Netherlands and Montreal, “followed by Los Angeles, Finland, and Hong Kong”. ®

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