After nearly two years of construction, the $300 million, Google-backed trans-Pacific "Faster" cable system is now live.
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First announced in 2014, the 9,000km trans-Pacific cable links Japan and the West Coast of the US, delivering 60 terabits per second of bandwidth, which is about 10 million times faster than the average cable modem.
"From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, 'faster, faster and faster,' and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality," Hiromitsu Todokoro, chairman of the Faster management committee, said in a statement.
Faster stretches from Oregon to two landing points in Japan, located in the Chiba and Mie prefectures. The system also has extended connections to major West Coast US hubs, including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. The two landing points in Japan allow for easy access to major cities there, as well as many neighboring cable systems extending to other Asian locations.
Google teamed up on the effort with five Asian firms — China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel — and Japanese IT and networking giant NEC Corporation served as the system supplier, actually building it out.
"Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day," Kenichi Yoneyama, Project Manager for Faster at NEC's submarine network division, said in a statement. "This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region."
In other connectivity news, Google on Thursday announced it has purchased additional 236 megawatts (MW) of energy from two new wind farms in Norway and Sweden. That comes after the Web giant at the end of last year purchased 842 MW of renewable energy to power its operations. Google said it's goal is to one day run 100 percent of its operations on clean energy.