Google-Backed Undersea Cable to Link Singapore, Australia

By Tom Brant Features PCmag

A planned undersea cable nearly 6,000 miles long will carry Google data between Australia and Singapore, with enough capacity to allow for as many as eight million simultaneous HD Google Hangout video calls.

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Google on Wednesday announced its investment in the Indigo cable project, which will link Perth, Sydney, Singapore, and Jakarta when it's completed in 2019. Undersea cable operator SubPartners and Singaporean and Australian telecom providers Singtel and Telstra are also investing in the cable, which will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks.

Google isn't saying how much it will spend, although its financial stake and the investments of the other partners are key to getting the Indigo cable built. SubPartners originally announced a Perth-Singapore cable back in 2013, with the intent to finance the construction itself and allow other companies to buy capacity. But SubPartners struggled to attract seed money, according to IT News, so it restructured the project to follow the model of other similar undersea cables financed by the companies that will actually use it.

Indigo is Google's fifth undersea cable project in the Asia-Pacific region, and it will mainly carry traffic from Google Cloud, which the company is positioning to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Amazon.

With a capacity of 18 terabits per second, Indigo will be significantly slower than another undersea project that Google, Facebook, and other internet companies are working on to link Hong Kong with Los Angeles. That cable will offer speeds of up to 120 terabits per second, and is scheduled to come online by next year.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.