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Google's superfast undersea cable connecting Japan and the US goes live

Japan's Internet users are set for a large speed boost as Google's 9,000km undersea internet cable that connects the country to the United States is now officially up and running.

In 2014, the company announced that it would lay an undersea cable connecting the two countries that would have a 60 terabits per second capacity. Google's senior vice president of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, said the cable has a capacity that is “more than any active subsea cable” and is “10 million times faster than your cable modem”.

The cable was completed through a partnership between Google, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and SingTel with the NEC corporation supplying the systems behind the cable. In total it cost $300 million to lay the “Faster” cable between Japan and the US.

The cable is based at Shima and Chikura in Japan with connections in the US that extend the system to hubs on the West Coast of the US. It also boasts a “6-fibre-pair cable and optical transmission technologies”.

In a post on Google Plus, Hölzle described the advanced nature of the cable, saying: “This cable is the first of its kind, with multiple colours (100) of light transmitted over various frequencies. Every ~60km a repeater re-energizes the light as it travels over 9,000km across the ocean floor.”

Google is not the only company that is interested in laying underwater cables across the ocean. Facebook and Microsoft announced in May that they would be building a new underwater cable across the Atlantic called the Marea cable.

It will offer speeds of 160 terabytes per second and will begin construction in 2018.

Image Credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.