Google completes Curie cable from US to Chile

24 April 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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The installation of Google’s 10,000km Curie cable has been completed, landing in Valparaíso, Chile, earlier this week.

SubCom, which was awarded the contract to build Google’s new system back in 2018, finalised the installation after announcing the project just over a year ago. SubCom Durable, the SubCom's cable ship, arrived at Las Torpederas beach in the early hours of Tuesday morning, where a team on the coast began to receive, splice the terrestrial infrastructure as well as the process of testing and burying the cable.

"The Google Network is a critical part of our infrastructure, enabling us to process vast amounts of information in real time, to accommodate some of the services most demanding in the world and to deliver content to the highest levels of availability and efficiency,"  said Jayne Stowell, strategic negotiator at Global Infrastructure at Google.

The four-fibre pair system, named after physicist and chemist Marie Curie, will connect from Los Angeles in the US to Las Torpederas beach in Valparaiso, Chile, with a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama.

¨The arrival of the Curie cable, after traveling 10,000km in the submarine bed, marks a new milestone in the technological development of Chile and demonstrates the commitment of our country to be pioneers in the digital revolution that we are living. Enabling this great infrastructure will provide advantages and opportunities for millions of internet users," said Gloria Hutt, Chile’s Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, who was present at the cable landing.

The cable also makes Google the first content player to build a private intercontinental cable, as well as making the system the first new cable to land in Chile in close to 20 years.

"The ongoing teamwork between Google and SubCom allowed mitigating the potential risks to the Curie cable system project schedule, which in turn allowed the early completion of the cable landing in Valparaíso. We hope to continue this collaboration in future projects," said Chris Carobene, vice president of marine services and network construction at SubCom.

The news comes as part of a wider $30 billion investment by the company into infrastructure. The plans were announced back at the start of 2018 and, along with Curie, includes the HAVFRUE cable that will connect the US to Denmark and Ireland and also investments in the Hong Kong-Guam Cable System (HK-G).

In the summer of 2018, Google also announced plans to build its first private trans-Atlantic subsea cable called Dunant, which will connect France and the US in 2020.