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Google Is Backing a New $300 Million High-Speed Internet Trans-Pacific Cable 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
An anonymous reader writes Google has announced it is backing plans to build and operate a new high-speed internet Trans-Pacific cable system called "FASTER." In addition to Google, the $300 million project will be jointly managed by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel, with NEC as the system supplier. FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies. The initial design capacity is expected to be 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs), connecting the US with two locations in Japan.
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Google Is Backing a New $300 Million High-Speed Internet Trans-Pacific Cable

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  • by Andurian (1162629) on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:14PM (#47649831)
    60Tb/s is fine for me, but what about the other people who want to use it?
    • You'll have to share with the others, otherwise you won't get any dessert.

    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      You can have it, but with your download limit of 250GB, you will be throttled after 0.004 seconds.

    • My first thought too. We have two 100 GB/s pipes within a block of me, and lots of 40 GB/s pipes spread throughout campus, so (does math) ...

      If we do some high def surgical research and genome swaps with collaborators in Japan, S Korea, and China this might fill up fast.

      And that's just this campus.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I had an opportunity early last year to have a 10Gbps pipe, from my desktop workstation, to the Internet.

        Conclusion? MEH. Except for bulk data transfers, nothing outside the university's LAN has a low enough ping to make it meaningful. And even for bulk transfers... anyone whose server has a 10Gbps pipe who's not brain damaged is going to rate-limit it exactly because otherwise it would take one other guy with a 10G pipe to clog the whole thing.

        It _was_ really impressive that I could upload a 4GB iso of the

  • Or at least I assume so, given how much this would benefit the NSA.

  • Beta? (Score:5, Funny)

    by RussR42 (779993) on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:15PM (#47649841)
    The cable will never leave beta and then be discontinued in a year.
  • Only 6 pairs? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:18PM (#47649859)

    You'd think that since the sheathing probably costs more than the fiber, and the labor/paperwork/engineering involved in laying it probably dwarfs the equipment cost, they'd put in a lot more than 6 pair.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that there was plenty of undersea cable that's under-utilized or sitting dark.

    Don't we keep inventing new ways to send orders of magnitude more data through the same old fibers? Isn't this the reason of the original WorldCom market collapse? Isn't this still the case, and there is tons of dark fiber and bandwidth available?

    I doubt this makes any economic sense, so I'm just suspicious that Google just wants to own and snoop more traffic.

  • Google ... China Telecom Global ... KDDI ... SingTel

    Does that suggest at least 4 countries with NSA-like taps into the data.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Yeah, I guess. It's like pointing out that overseas freight might be opened by Customs - which is to say, yeah, it might. I practically got a proctological exam just crossing over into Canada this summer. What is more secretive and nefarious is the tapping of a line between 2 nations (or within one nation) by a third party.
      • "I practically got a proctological exam just crossing over into Canada this summer"

        That's probably because of the guns. Too many Americans "forget" they have a Desert Eagle in the glove box, even after the customs guy asks them 3 times.
        • by timeOday (582209) on Monday August 11, 2014 @04:03PM (#47650257)
          I will admit what triggered suspicion - I forgot to bring a birth certificate for my 15-year-old son, and my wife wasn't with us. I don't see what a photocopied birth certificate proves (with regard to either kidnapping or smuggling contraband on my motorcycle) - but either way it was made abundantly clear to me that "privacy" is not a relevant concept at an international checkpoint. In fact the Canadian agent even claimed I shouldn't be taking him between US states without documentation, since I had no way to prove I had "permission", which really made my head spin.
          • by wanax (46819)

            Many years ago, when I was 6 or 7, my grandparents drove me up to Prince Edward Island for a vacation. Getting through the border into Canada took about 45 minutes, with my grandparents getting grilled and the agents asking me about a dozen times whether I wanted to be with them and whether my parents knew where I was etc etc.. Getting back into the US took about 2 minutes. It seems like it's a Canadian neurosis.

            • It seems like it's a Canadian neurosis.

              Nope. The process for entering the US from Canada without proper documentation for a minor is just as rigorous.

              • by wanax (46819)

                We had proper documentation (notarized permission letter, notarized copy of my birth certificate, passport)... The reason I say it's a Canadian neurosis (albeit semi-seriously) is that I made many other (25 or so) border crossings as a minor without parental accompaniment (many more with one parent), and never had an issue anywhere else (including Mexico, France, Italy, England, Austria, US, Switzerland, Cayman Islands).

                • I think it's largely random. We've traveled regularly to the US (from Canada) with our grandson since he was two, and had to show the custodial letter about half the time. Occasionally a 3rd degree, usually just a quick Q&A. Same thing with the dog - we always have his papers (immunization records) ready with our passports, and we've never been asked for them.

                  Come to think of it, the dog is probably worth more to the right buyer. :)

          • by rahvin112 (446269)

            Non-custodial kidnapping is the most common kind of kidnapping. Something like 99.99999% of all the kids on milk boxes are custodial kidnappings. But Christ, you're his Dad and he's 15, they could have asked him.

            The world's gotten a bit insane.

      • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:53PM (#47650191)

        I practically got a proctological exam just crossing over into Canada this summer.

        Free medical checkups are one good reason to live in Canada.

    • by TheDarkener (198348) on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:36PM (#47650045)

      Does it really matter at this point how information traverses the Internet? It is a PUBLIC network. Do yourself a favor and encrypt all your traffic and you won't have to worry about which route your data takes to get to its destination. Doing it any other way is just not going to cut it these days.

      • by ledow (319597)

        A fact that even Google, Facebook, etc. are learning, as they start to encrypt ALL traffic between their datacentres and not just rely on the promise of privacy from governments / ISPs.

        This is the natural evolution of the Internet, prompted by such spying and interceptions - being used for nothing more than transporting encrypted packets whose payload cannot be determined to any significant degree. The Internet is fast becoming a darknet of its own.

        I know that, for years, I haven't accepted unencrypted com

        • I've been pushing (In the most annoying of manners) for my regular contacts to set up Retroshare as a secure IM program.

        • Even my SMTP server lets you talk TLS to it if you try. Not everyone who emails me tries, of course, but it will let you do it so my "end" is secure.

          I just checked our server logs for the last month. Out of the connections, less then 4-5% negotiated TLS.

          Now, granted, about 90% of those connections were probably spam, so maybe as much as half of legitimate mail servers now negotiate TLS.

          (Anyone got better data? I didn't feel like trying to figure out whether a particular connection was or was not a s
    • by Shatrat (855151)

      Probably, but anyone who cares, such as google, should be assuming that is happening and using wire-speed encryption hardware on both ends. Even without collusion, it's not that hard to sneak a 90/10 tap into an optical signal at a NAP and take a peek.

    • by Lanboy (261506)

      Not really. It is the internet, consider it pre-tapped. USA capture on the edge in LAX (Thanks AT&T) , China captures on the GFoC. Doubt Japanese government or Singapore does much of their own taps.

      In any case, who wants to support a tap a 5000 feet down?

  • I'd rather Google come in and bust the telecom monopoly in my home town where I have a choice between Verizon FiOS and Comcast Xfinity ... if you want to call that a choice. The lesser of the evils is Verizon FiOS. At least the FiOS is truly fiber optic!
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday August 11, 2014 @03:25PM (#47649943)

      I'd rather Google come in and bust the telecom monopoly in my home town where I have a choice between Verizon FiOS and Comcast Xfinity ... if you want to call that a choice. The lesser of the evils is Verizon FiOS. At least the FiOS is truly fiber optic!

      That sounds great, but what happens when Google obtains monopoly status in your area?

      • by MiniMike (234881)

        That sounds great, but what happens when Google obtains monopoly status in your area?

        A quick internet search indicated that there will be no problems, and that we shouldn't worry at all about this. I was then given a link to a free game download. BBL.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        In this case where it is pretty obvious that Google Fibre is going to go global, so a global monopoly.

    • I'd rather Google come in and bust the telecom monopoly in my home town where I have a choice between Verizon FiOS and Comcast Xfinity ... if you want to call that a choice. The lesser of the evils is Verizon FiOS. At least the FiOS is truly fiber optic!

      I'm right there with ya, only the monopoly in my area is shitty Verizon DSL, talk about being stuck with a single bad choice.

    • by alen (225700)

      WTF do you expect google to do? even on google fiber netflix tops out at 10mbps

      you can splooge your shorts watching your speedtests all day long, but in reality it won't be that much faster since all the services you access won't be buying enough bandwidth on their end for you to take advantage of it

      i have 2 LTE phones and Team Stream takes forever to update even though i can do a 20mbps speed test at the time. welcome to the internet

  • Google has announced it is backing plans to build and operate a new high-speed internet Trans-Pacific cable system called "FASTER." In addition to Google, the $300 million project will be jointly managed by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel, with NEC as the system supplier. FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies. The initial design capacity is expected to be 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 f

    • I know that article is old as shit because I had a subscription to Wired when it came out. Fantastic stuff, though.

      I just finished reading Snow Crash again last week. I almost never re-read books, but that's a classic. It was written in 1992 and set 20 to 25 years in the future, AKA right about now. The reason that Facebook purchased Oculus is because they want to basically create the Metaverse.

      • Nothing new considering William Gibson wrote Neuromancer in the 1980s.

        • 1984. That's actually one of the only other books I've read multiple times.

          The details of the Snow Crash version will probably be much closer to what Facebook ends up building.

  • I believe Google just fired a salvo into the Net Neutrality war.

    Comcast et all: Hey content providers, it'd be a real shame if your speeds got real slow. A real shame. Howsa about some protection money, y'know just in case?
    Google: Gee Comcast, seems your connection the the rest of the world is awfully slow, might be we just bypass you altogether...

    Seems sort of like Backbone VS Last Mile: Fight!

    At the very least a bit of future hedging going on. Google also has last mile service in a few areas. Imagine if t

  • Seems they could just run it from Alaska to Russia. Wouldn't even lose sight of the ship laying the cable.
    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Only if you are Sara Palin. (I'm not sure you understand the distance involved)

      Seriously though, it's actually probably cheaper to lay it across the equator than try to put a cable across the bearing straight. The ocean is pretty turbulent in the straight, it's pretty turbulent any time you get closer to the poles. There were articles the other day that global warming has opened up so much water this summer north of canada that they've had 15' (3m) waves. You need calm water (including underwater currents o

  • From the announcement in the quoted article [nec.com]:
    "A consortium of six global companies announced that they have signed commercial agreements to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific cable system to be called “FASTER” (...) The six-company consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel."
    The OP gives the wrong idea that Google backs up the project and the others are involved only in management, which seems incorrect from the orig
  • Then I can reach Comcast's data cap in, what, 5 or 6 milliseconds.
  • ... the NSA ... what could possibly go wrong?

  • Once again, scifi leads the way.

  • Why the fuck does everyone think this is actually going to be used for internet traffic?

    Sure, part of the China Mobile side of things might be used for peering, I'd be shocked if any more than 5% of this capacity was going to be used for internet peering.

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