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Google-Backed FASTER Submarine Cable Goes Live

Scott Sherwood
July 6, 2015

The story of how the first submarine transatlantic cable was laid is one of the lesser known triumphs of human ingenuity. Today, many people take for granted the many submarine cables that enable countless, instantaneous digital connections from one side of the world to another.

Last Thursday (June 30, 2016), a Google-backed group of companies added another link to that chain when its FASTER cable went online for the first time. The cable provides a substantial amount of additional bandwidth for traffic between data centers in the U.S. and data centers in Asia-Pacific markets such as Japan, Taiwan, and others.

As the world’s deluge of data continues to swell and the demand for speed increases, connections between Asia and the U.S. are becoming more essential for businesses of all stripes.

The FASTER submarine cable lands at strategic points that enable connection to the area’s most prominent data centers. On its Asia side, the cable lands at Tanshui, Taiwan, and Shima and Chikura, Japan. 11,629 km later, it lands in Bandon, Oregon, where it soon makes a connection with PRT1, Telx’s Hillsboro-Portland data center.

The rate of growth for global internet traffic is not slowing down. The new cable isn’t just FASTER in name. Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle stated its capacity is “the first of its kind,” boasts "more [capacity] than any active subsea cable,” and is "10 million times faster than your cable modem."

The $300 million project, announced in 2014, is exciting not just for internet users in Japan, many of whom will likely see a noticeable jump in their internet speeds, but also for globally-minded businesses seeking to deepen their connections abroad. For those businesses and their clients, the FASTER cable is a lightning-fast step in the right direction.

Want to learn more about undersea cables? Click here to see an extensive interactive map of undersea cables worldwide from TeleGeography. How do you see undersea cables impacting our digital activities as businesses or individuals moving forward? Tag us on Twitter @digitalrealty and let us know what you think.

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