Google to build new internet cable under the sea to allow for faster connections

Google will build a new internet cable under the sea in an attempt to speed up connections and meet demand.

The infrastructure will also allow the system to be more resilient, avoiding any possible problems caused by disruptions – such as damage from sharks.

It will also allow for extra security beyond what is currently available over the public internet, Google said.

The new cable will run between the US, the UK and Spain and is expected to be finished in 2022.

Once built, it will be one of the tech giant’s first new cables to connect the US and UK since 2003, aimed at increasing capacity and helping drive some of Google’s core services, such as video communication platform Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud.

It has been named after computer science pioneer Grace Hopper, best known for her work on one of the first linkers or compilers. Google also noted that she famously once found an actual “bug” in a program, when her team discovered that the early Harvard Mark II computer was broken because a moth was trapped in a panel.

“We’re thrilled to honour Grace Hopper’s legacy of innovation by investing in the future of transatlantic communications with a state-of-the-art fibre optic cable,” Google said in its announcement.

Grace Hopper joins Google’s Curie, Dunant and Equiano cables along the ocean floor, where 98% of the world’s internet traffic flows.

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The technology will use 16 fibre pairs which Google says is a “significant upgrade to the internet infrastructure connecting the US with Europe”, stretching from New York to Bude in north-east Cornwall and Bilbao in northern Spain.

It is the first time that Google has invested in a private subsea cable to the UK. It is also the first time Google has built a subsea cable route to Spain.

Bikash Koley, vice president of Google Global Network, said: “Private subsea cables allow us to plan effectively for the future capacity needs of our customers and users around the world, and add a layer of security beyond what’s available over the public internet.”

Additional reporting by agencies



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