Google has revealed plans to install a new Transatlantic subsea cable to connect the United States, UK and Spain.
Named after the American computer science pioneer, Grace Hopper, the subsea line is Google’s fourth privately-owned cable and also marks the company’s first investment in a private cable route to both the UK and Spain.
The project, which is due to be completed by 2022, will run from New York in the US to Bude, Cornwall and Bilbao in Spain.
Google already owns subsea cables such as Curie, which links South America with the mainland US. The tech giant’s two other subsea cables, Dunant and Equiano respectively link the US with France and Europe with Africa.
Plans are underway at Google to launch a new Cloud region in Madrid as part of a collaboration with Telefonica. The firm said the landing point in Bilbao will “more tightly integrate” the upcoming launch into its global infrastructure.
Commenting on the announcement, Bikash Koley, VP of Google Global Network, said the new cable will increase capacity and deliver improvements to services such as Google Cloud.
“Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the US and UK since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud,” he said.
The subsea cable will be equipped with 16 fibre pairs. However, the Grace Hopper line will be the first of its kind to use ‘optical fiber switching’ developed as part of a collaboration with SubCom.
According to Koley, the introduction of this new technology will significantly improve network resilience and enable the tech giant to move traffic around outages.
“Grace Hopper will incorporate novel optical fiber switching that allows for increased reliability in global communications,” he said.
Underwater network cables are integral to the global economy and ensure that data continues to flow on a day-to-day basis. According to Google, 98% of international internet traffic is transferred around the world by subsea cables.
Ensuring the regular flow of data across the Atlantic, and globally, is critical to both the economy and modern society.
“In today’s day and age, as the ways that we work, play and connect are becoming increasingly digital, reliable connectivity is more important than ever,” said Koley.
“A vast underwater network of cables crisscrossing the ocean makes it possible to share, search, send and receive information around the world at the speed of light,” he added.