A new trans-Pacific undersea Internet cable with connect Los Angeles directly with Hong Kong thanks to a partnership between Google and Facebook.
The two companies have joined hands to work with China Soft Power Holdings subsidiary for the Pacific Light Cable Network that will stretch a whopping 12,800 kilometers (8,000 miles), crossing beneath the Pacific Ocean in a first-of-its-kind direct connection between the two locations.
Once laid down, the PLCN will be one of the fastest intercontinental undersea cable with one of the lowest latencies and will be able to handle some 120 terabytes of data per second. This amount of data translates to 80 million high-definition video conference calls simultaneously between Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The cable is expected to be ready in mid 2018 according to the two companies.
Most Pacific subsea cables stretch from the US to Japan, according to Facebook vice president of network engineering Najam Ahmad.
“As the number of people using Facebook apps and services continues to grow in the region, PLCN will help further connect Asia and our data centers in the US,” Ahmad said. “This new direct route will give us more diversity and resiliency in the Pacific.”
Increased proliferation of Internet into the life of people around the world has put an unprecedented demand on the data cables connecting continents and countries and this calls for rapid expansion of the infrastructure capabilities to quickly and efficiently move data.
Google has already invested in five prior such cables with the PLCN being the sixth submarine cable. Google claims to have the “largest network backbone of any public cloud provider.”
Microsoft and Facebook early this year teamed together to lay a high-speed Internet cable across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
The subsea “MAREA” cable was expected to be completed by late 2017, with the aim of meeting growing demand by the tech companies’ customers for fast, reliable data connections.
MAREA was expected to have a capacity of some 160 terabytes per second of data, according to the companies.
The 6,600 kilometer cable system will also be the first connecting the United States and southern Europe, running from Northern Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, Microsoft and Facebook said.