- Google will build three new underwater fiber optic cable lines to expand its cloud network and provide global customers with faster and more reliable service.
- The Curie cable will connect Los Angeles with Chile, the Havfrue cable will connect the U.S. East Coast with Ireland and Denmark, and the Hong Kong-Guam (HK-G) cable will connect hubs in the Pacific. The three new lines will bring Google's submarine investments to 11.
- The cable lines are all expected to be operational in 2019.
Google already has completed four underwater cables: Unity connects Los Angeles and Japan, South-East Asia Japan Cable System (SJC) connects nearly a dozen Southeast Asian countries, FASTER connects Oregon to Japan and Taiwan, and Monet connects Brazil with Florida. Four other lines — Indigo, PLCN, Tannat and Junior — are slated for service this year. The new investments should position Google to compete more aggressively with leading cloud providers Amazon and Microsoft.
Google already has more than 100 cloud hubs — including stateside points of presence in Oregon, Iowa, South Carolina and Virginia. It will add new regions this year, with the addition of Montreal and the Netherlands during the first quarter this year, and Los Angeles, Finland and Hong Kong soon to follow.
The submarine investments will increase network redundancy and allow for regional fixes without major service disruptions to other regions. They also provide better connections between servers which speeds up service. Underwater cables are considered more reliable than other telecom methods, such as satellites, therefore, more than 90% of the global internet bandwidth is transmitted via a system of 400 underwater cables.
The modern cables are about an inch in diameter. There are varying reports on their environmental impact, but the marine life around cables generally is not believed to be impacted in a statistically significant manner. The modern cables reportedly spontaneously curl less than earlier versions and are anchored better, which prevents sealife entanglement.