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Google is working with a consortium of carriers to become part of an intra-Asian submarine cable system, tentatively called the Southeast Asian Japan Cable (SJC). The cable would be Google’s second play in the sub-sea category. The new cable links various different cities to Chikura, Japan Guam, the landing site of a transpacific cable called Unity.
Earlier this year, Google invested in this transpacific cable along with a bunch of other carriers. The Unity cable is expected to cost about $300 million. The new SJC cable has pretty much the same carrier partners as the ones in the Unity cable, reports Telegeography, a research company.
Companies that are participating in both consortia are Google, Bharti, SingTel, KDDI and Global Transit. Pacnet, which will control two fibre pairs on Unity, already operates the EAC-C2C intra-Asian mesh cable system and consequently is not involved with SJC. Globe Telecom of the Philippines and TOT of Thailand are also members of SJC and will be the landings parties for the cable in their respective countries.
Google’s fierce expansion under the sea is a sign that the company views Asia as its big growth market and is preparing to build an infrastructure that gives it a distinct advantage over others. Asia is one of the hottest Internet markets and the demand for bandwidth is exploding in that region. It isn’t much of a surprise that many cables are being built, leading to speculation that another optical bubble might be building.