Google plans two new subsea cables from US to Japan

Google plans two new subsea cables from US to Japan

Google pacific

Google has announced a $1billion investment to expand its Central Pacific Connect Initiative, which includes delivering two new subsea cables, Proa and Taihei.

The Cables

Partners on the two new cable systems include Japanese telecom operators KDDI and ARTERIA, the Private Equity firm Citadel Pacific, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Both cables will be delivered by NEC.

Proa, which is named after the traditional sailing canoes of the Mariana Islands, will become the first of two subsea cables to land in the CNMI as it crosses between Japan, Guam and the US.

In addition to Proa, the Taiwan-Philippines-U.S (TPU) cable, which is also owned by Google, will be extended to the CNMI.

Taihei, which means “peace” and “Pacific Ocean” in Japanese, will connect Japan to Hawaii. In addition, Hawaii will benefit from the extension of Google’s Tabua cable which was announced in October 2023.

The Central Pacific Connect initiative was launched inOctober 2023, with the Honomoana and Tabua cables announced as the first two projects.

In January this year Google expanded the initiative with the announcement of the Bulikula and Halaihai cables.

In addition to its cables connecting East Asia with the west coast of the US, Google will fund the construction of an interlink cable connecting Hawaii, the CNMI, and Guam in the Pacific.

This interlink will connect the transpacific routes, improving their reliability and reducing latency for users in the Pacific Islands and around the world.

The Partners

Google and KDDI have a long history of collaboration on submarine cables, including cable landings in Japan. CEO Makoto Takahashi said he was delighted his firm were partnering once again with Google.

“Connectivity between Tokyo, the heart of the Internet in Japan, and overseas has been concentrated in Minamiboso,” said Tatsuya Abe, CEO of ARTERIA Corporation.

Abe noted that the Ibaraki region, which includes Takahagi where the Taihei cable will land, has been somewhat neglected.

Until Google’s Topaz cable arrived in Takahagi, the region had not had a new cable land for twenty years. ARTERIA supported the landing of Topaz and leveraging the same landing facilities will expand its partnership with Google to support the new cable.

Citadel Pacific owns IT&E, the largest wireless provider in Micronesia.

CEO of Citadel Pacific Jim Beighley said the new cables would allow IT&E to deliver significantly expanded internet services to the residents of the islands it serves.

“The CNMI will be directly connected to international networks for the first time in history,” he said.

“This translates to a future of faster speeds, wider availability and a stronger, more stable connection.”

To understand more about the factors driving a booming subsea investment market, read our analysis here.

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