Google Ups Service Speeds in Asia With New Fiber Link

The new fiber-optic cable should help Google Apps, Cloud Platform and other Internet services load faster across the region, the company said.

Google fast fiber link

Google's services have become a little faster across Asia, courtesy of a new high-speed undersea cable linking the company's largest data center in that continent with its data centers in the United States.

The new fiber-optic cable should help Google Apps, Cloud Platform and other Internet services load up more quickly across the region and bolster the company's service consistency and reliability in Asia, said Google regional lead Yan Tang in a blog post.

Google and five other members of a group called the FASTER Consortium started bringing the high-speed 5,600-mile FASTER Cable System online in June. The cable has a total bandwidth of 60 terabits per second, of which Google can access up to 10T bps. The cable starts in Oregon in the United States and ends up in the Chiba and Mie prefectures in Japan.

In the past few months, Google has worked on extending the Trans-Pacific link across more of Asia via a cable connecting FASTER's landing points in Japan with Taiwan, where Google's largest data center in Asia is located. The millions of people across Asia that the Taiwan data center serves should have quicker access to services and tools as a result of the new link. According to Cheung, the new link between its Taiwan data center and Japan will support bandwidth speeds of up to 26T bps (image courtesy of Google).

"You may not notice right away, but this new cable should help Google products and services load more quickly across the region," Cheung said. The fiber cable has been strategically deployed outside of tsunami zones to mitigate the risk of network outages resulting from such natural disasters.

More people are coming online in Asia than in any other region of the world, so Google has been investing heavily in ramping up its infrastructure in the region, Cheung said. Over the past few years, Google has built two major data centers in Asia, one in Singapore and the other in Taiwan.

Last year, the company began work on a second, larger data center in Singapore right next to its present facility in the country. The new multilevel data center is expected to come online in 2017 and is being built on a plot of land roughly the same size as the one on which the first Singapore data center was constructed.

With the expansion, Google says it has spent some $500 million on its Singapore facility so far and a total of slightly more than $1 billion on its Asian data centers.

Google has described the FASTER cable as the fastest undersea fiber-optic cable that has been built so far.

According to officials at cable supplier NEC, FASTER is the first submarine cable across the Pacific that has been designed from the ground up to support "digital coherent transmission technology."

Work on the system began in August 2014. Besides Google, other members of the consortium include Singtel, China Mobile International, Global Transit, KDDI and China Telecom.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.