Cable on the Pacific bed

Google to Spend $1 Billion to Lay Two New Cables on the Pacific Seabed

As digital connectivity becomes increasingly vital, Google announces a monumental $1 billion investment aimed at bolstering undersea infrastructure in the Pacific. Termed Pacific Connect, this initiative underscores Google’s commitment to fortifying global digital networks.

The endeavour involves the construction of two new undersea cables in partnership with various collaborators. The first cable, Proa, named after the traditional Mariana Islands sailing canoes, will span from Japan to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam, enhancing connectivity in the Micronesia subregion. NEC Corporation will spearhead the construction of Proa, along with the extension of the Taiwan-Philippines-US connection system (TPU) to CNMI, forging a new Internet route to the Japanese city of Shima.

The second cable, Taihei, meaning ‘peace’ and ‘Pacific Ocean’ in Japanese, will link Japan to Hawaii. Additionally, Google plans to extend the Tabua cable to Hawaii, fostering diverse Internet connectivity between the US and Takahagi, Japan.

A portion of the investment will be dedicated to establishing an ‘interlink’ cable between Hawaii, CNMI, and Guam, interconnecting transpacific routes to enhance reliability and decrease latency across the Pacific Islands.

Governor Arnold I. Palacios of CNMI applauds Google’s Pacific Connect initiative, aligning with the Commonwealth’s vision for a technologically advanced Pacific region. Palacios views it as a collaborative endeavour poised to unlock new opportunities for CNMI.

Google emphasizes the economic benefits of undersea cables, citing a Japan-focused study indicating a $400 million GDP boost due to network infrastructure investments. Improved digital access fosters skill development, creates career prospects, and enhances service delivery by businesses and public organizations, thereby amplifying overall economic growth and development.

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