http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-faster-cable-japan-us

Google’s ‘Faster’ undersea internet cable goes live

The undersea cable cost $300 million to create and has been in the works since 2014

Internet users in Japan are about to get a speed boost. Google’s 9,000km undersea internet cable from the United States to the country has been ‘switched on’.
The 60 terabits per second capacity “Faster” cable, first announced in 2014, has been completed and “officially entered into service”.

Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, said the cable’s capacity is “more than any active subsea cable” and is “10 million times faster than your cable modem”.

As well as Google, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, SingTel, were all involved in the cable’s creation and laying. The NEC Corporation supplied the systems behind the cable.
It features a “6-fibre-pair cable and optical transmission technologies” and is based at two locations in Japan – Shima and Chikura – with connections in the US extending the system to hubs on the West Coast of the US.

“This cable is the first of its kind, with multiple colours (100) of light transmitted over various frequencies,” Hölzle said in a Google Plus post

“Every ~60km a repeater re-energizes the light as it travels over 9,000km across the ocean floor”.
Google’s ‘Faster’ cable is one of a number of undersea cables that connect the world and form a backbone for the internet. The first cable laid across the Atlantic, which was used for telegram communications, was put in place back in 1906.

How the first cable was laid across the Atlantic

How the first cable was laid across the Atlantic

A global map – in a similar style to London’s Tube map – from TeleGeography shows all the undersea cables currently in operation across the world. The majority of all the cables run around individual countries and continents but there are cables that cover longer distances such as across the Atlantic ocean.

The SEA-ME-WE 3 cable that connects Europe to Australia and Asia is the longest cable in the world. The cable has 39 landing points and is 39,000km in length.
In May, Facebook and Microsoft announced they would be building a new underwater cable across the Atlantic. The Marea cable will offer speeds of 160 terabytes per second and is due to be constructed in 2016.

Marea will feature eight fibre pairs, offer speeds of up to 160 terabytes per seconds and will be the first to connect the US to southern Europe – from Virginia to Bilbao.

The cables don’t always work as planned though. Currents running through oceans can damage the cables as well as fishing trawlers and anchors being dragged along the sea bed, which is exactly what happened to one connecting Northern Ireland in 2015.

The undersea cable broke and it took a crew of 30 people and a giant robot two weeks to repair the cable.

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