Global Consortium Funds New Cable Between US and Japan

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, Google announced that it had signed a deal with several telecoms to fund an undersea high-bandwidth fiber optic cable between the United States and Japan. The global consortium calls itself "Unity," and includes: Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel in addition to Google. (Source:

The continent-connecting cable will span 10,000 km, will cost $300 million USD, and is expected to increase web traffic between the United States and Asia by 20 percent. NEC corporation and Tyco Telecommunications were chosen to build and install the cable, which should be operational during the early part of 2010.

Jayne Stowell, a spokesperson for Unity, told Reuters that, "the Unity cable system allows the members of the consortium to provide the increased capacity needed as more applications and services migrate online." (Source:

Prior to this announcement, rumors about Google's attempts to be acquire high bandwidth cables had already been raised. After the Internet bubble burst in the 1990s, some believe Google snapped up a large amount of "dark fiber" (Internet cable that was installed but not put to use), although the company has declined to respond to these suspicions. (Source:

It is also assumed that Google will emerge as a winner in the FCC's current auction of the wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band announced last year. At the time Google declared its intention to participate in the auction, but the FCC is not releasing the names of participating companies.

Regardless of whether it wins any of the spectrum, the search giant's involvement with has already been significant. The company has worked to ensure that consumers using the 700 MHz band will be able to download any software application to their mobile device, and to use any mobile devices on the wireless network. Add Google's recently announced Android open platform (the first complete, open, and free platform for mobile devices), and its clear the company is extending its reach as far as possible.

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