Google & Facebook to build China-US undersea Internet cable
Google & Facebook to build China-US undersea Internet cable. Image credit: Arciscap.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) will partner with a small Chinese internet company. The team up aims to build a cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong and launch it by 2018. A sign of the country’s appetite for bandwidth.

The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) will stretch over 12,800 kilometers and will pack a new fiber-optic technology to support 120 terabits per second. More specifically, Pacific Light Data Communication and TE Subcom will establish the first submarine cable from both cities.

Google and Facebook, rivals in the online advertising business, shook hands on Oct. 12 to build the cable together. The PLCN would double the speed of the current highest-capacity trans-Pacific route, a record help by Google’s system FASTER.

FASTER connects Japan with hubs on the U.S. West Coast and other Asian regions. The system’s shareholders are China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, SingTel, and Google.

How does the internet work?

For the average user, how the internet works is not worth a single thought as they scroll down Facebook, browse YouTube videos, or seek information on Google. The concept of miles and miles of cables resting in deep ocean floors is somehow hard to imagine.

Surfing the internet involves hooking up a router to an Internet Service Provider’s modem, and then connecting wired and wireless devices to the network. The underground internet cables carry a telecommunication signal from a data center to other countries’ ISPs.

Connecting to the U.S. is critical for any international telecom company, as the American Nation holds the world’s biggest data centers and fiber networks in the world.

What will the Pacific Light Cable Network do?

The PLCN would be the sixth submarine cable in which Google owns a share. Both Google and Facebook may independently choose network equipment so they can offer the best optical technology as the construction advances.

Facebook also has some experience in the field of submarine cable. The social network company teamed up with Microsoft to build a high capacity cable across the Atlantic sea several months ago.

The cable will bring lower latency, more security and greater bandwidth to Google customers in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The link will also increase the number of people using Facebook’s apps and services in the region, as the PLCN will help connect the company’s data centers in the U.S. to the Asian userbase.

Source: Google Blog