Google lays down plans for new transatlantic undersea cable ‘Grace Hopper’
Image credit: Reuters

Google announced its plans to lay down an undersea transatlantic fiber-optic cable between the USA, the UK, and Spain, as an effort to improve its services in these countries. The cable is going to be named “Grace Hopper” after the pioneering scientist from the USA.

Grace Hopper will connect New York in the USA to Bude in the UK, and to Bilbao in Spain. From the USA, the cable will run 6,250km to the U.K. and 6.300 km to Spain. This marks Google’s first investment in subsea cables to the UK and its first-ever route to Spain. The objective is to integrate the busy Madrid cloud region into Google’s international infrastructure and provide better services like Google Meet, Gmail, and Google Cloud.

Google global network said that the Grace Hopper is special because it incorporates “novel optical fiber switching” that will allow it to move traffic around internet outages more competently than before. It will also have 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers), which is a “significant upgrade” to the internet infrastructure that connects the U.S. with Europe.

The Mountainview-based tech mogul signed a contract with New Jersey-based underwater cable provider SubCom, and the project is expected to be completed by 2022.

The new private system will provide better resilience than preceding networks by Google, which includes a portfolio of cables including Curie, Dunant, and Equiano.

According to a report on CNBC, Subsea cables ferry 98% of international internet traffic around the world. These cables make it possible to share, search, send, and receive information around the world at the speed of light.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home lifestyle, there is a rising demand for video-based internet services for entertainment (Netflix) or communication (Zoom). This has strained the existing internet services in the transatlantic corridor, and they will benefit from this new Google venture. 

“Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the U.S. and U.K. since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services”, said Bikash Koley, VP of Google Global services.


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