Monday, August 18, 2014
Nearly 200 undersea submarine cables connect remote regions and populated cities across the globe. Google and telecom firms from China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are combining resources to develop a new submarine cable below the Pacific Ocean, according to PC World. The fiber-optic cable, called Faster, will upgrade Internet speeds for users across Asia and provide Google with more ready access to its data centers over seas.
The Faster cable will be completed in 2016 and support trans-Pacific data transfer speeds up to 60 terabytes per second. Six fiber-pairs will deliver high-speed Internet throughout Asia by transmitting 100 gigabits per second of data over 100 wavelengths, reports BBC. The cables also make use of aluminum barriers, dense steel wires and a petroleum jelly solution to protect and maintain the cable's fiber-optic components.
U.S. tech companies footing the bill
Google has guaranteed $300 million for the Faster project and TechCrunch notes that this is not Google's first investment in undersea cables with partners in Asia. 2008 saw Google providing funds for the Unity cable, capable of delivering 3.3 Terabytes per second. The U.S. tech giant also bankrolled the 28 Tbps Southeast Asia-Japan Cable earlier this year with an investment of $400 million. Likewise, Facebook and Microsoft have invested in or are in talks with consortiums dedicated to improving Internet connections between Asian nations. Facebook financed the Asia Pacific Gateway with $450 million as recently as 2012.
High-speed under the sea
CNN reports that 99 percent of international communications are handled by existing submarine cables. In fact, damage to underwater cables can cause critical Internet failures for nations who depend on these cables for high-speed data transfers. Widespread adoption of fiber-to-Ethernet hardware allows fiber-optic cables to connect high-speed Internet to remote islands and first world nations with ease. The technology offers a cost advantage over satellite solutions, which are still used to connect the Internet to distant, rural communities.
Submarine cables are occasionally disturbed by natural phenomenon like storms and earthquakes, but a majority of issues arise as a result of human activity. Damage caused by fishing equipment and ship anchors is responsible for 75 percent of cable failures. Shark attacks have also proved to be problematic pattern for submarine cables, leading Google to wrap its cable in Kevlar, says Network World.
Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160 km.