Google Announces Its Second Privately Own Undersea Cable

Google is running a private cable underneath the Atlantic Ocean to speed up its infrastructure (GOOG, GOOGL, AMZN, MSFT)

Set to enter service in 2020, it will cross the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia Beach in the United States and stretch nearly 4000 miles to the French coast.

As Google owns Dunant, which will be the first trans-Atlantic cable exclusively owned by a non-telecom company, it can be connected directly to the firm's data centers and means Google doesn't have to share bandwidth with any consortium partners.

While Dunant is Google's first cable spanning that particular ocean, it's the search giant's second privately-owned cable overall.

Per TechCrunch, the planned "Dunant" cable (named after Red Cross founder Henry Dunant) will make landfall in France after crossing almost 4,000 miles of ocean floor and "connect Google's North Virginia region directly to its Belgium region".

The addition of Dunant will give Google exclusive network capacity across one of the busiest routes on the internet.

Google is working with TE SubCom to design, manufacture and lay the cable for Dunant. Once complete, the cable will offer "well-provisioned, high-bandwidth, low-latency, highly secure cloud connections between the U.S. and Europe", Stowell rites. For example, Google and Facebook teamed up in 2016 for an 8,000 mile long cable project bridging Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The first, named Curie, will be up and running in 2019, connecting Los Angeles and Chile.

Google's previous trans-Atlantic cable was named Curie after scientist Marie Curie, and Google plans to name future private cables after other innovators in an alphabetical pattern (so maybe Einstein's next?).

As Google's Jayne Stowell explained in a blog post, companies which handle massive amounts of data have three options when trying to cross the ocean: leasing capacity from an existing cable, partnering with other companies with similar needs in what is called a consortium deal to build one, or simply doing it themselves.

Google emphasises latency rather than capacity in its announcement, saying private builds mean "we can choose this route based on what will provide the lowest latency for the largest segment of customers".

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