Google's Underwater Ambitions Expand

The original SJC proposal

Google said yesterday that it’s joined forces with some Japanese and Indian telecommunications firms to build a $400 million submarine cable that will connect the Asia Pacific region, dubbed Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC). If all this sounds like déjà vu, that’s because Google invested in the Unity submarine cable last year, and because the SJC cable was talked about in 2008 as well. This will be the second underwater cable in which Google invests. It’s also another indication of how much Google will spend to bring faster Internet to the world in order to keep its ad dollars flowing.

The 8,300-kilometer long cable will add up to 23 terabytes of capacity to the market in a few years and will link Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. The SJC system will have 17 Tbps of capacity when it’s completed in the second quarter of 2012, and will be upgradable to 23Tbps.

Google is working with Globe Telecom in the Philippines; Japan’s KDDI; Network i2i, a subsidiary of Bharti; Reliance Globalcom and Telemedia Pacific. Many of these companies were part of the original Unity cable plans. Demand for wired and mobile broadband is leading to more cable construction around the world as bandwidth becomes the key means for communications and business.

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