Google has announced plans to build a new undersea transatlantic data cable to connect the UK, US and Spain. As reported by the BBC, the network cable will end in the south-west of England in Cornwall.
It has been a busy few weeks for the big tech company. Firstly, it going to have to face antitrust hearing alongside other companies such as Amazon despite deals. Additionally, an Australian regulator has accused the company of mistrust over data privacy issues.
The company will, therefore, be happy to announce some more positive news in the form of this “Grace Hopper” cable. The plan is for the project to be completed in 2022.
Transatlantic network cable to land in Cornwall
Undersea network cables are central to communications infrastructure. Google estimates suggest that these types of cable carry around 98% of the world’s data. Generally, they are built by a group of communications firms who pool their resources together. The companies then charge others to use them.
The name “Grace Hopper” was decided to honor an American computer scientist and naval rear admiral. It will hit Britain at Bude in Cornwall and become Google’s fourth privately owned undersea cable.
The company claims that it needs “an ever-increasing amount of transatlantic bandwidth” in order to meet demand. Doing so privately allows them to chose routes that are most optimal for the company, rather than relying on outside sources. This network cable will also have an offshoot into Bilbao in Spain.
Jayne Stowell, who oversees Google’s underseas construction pointed out the need for these new cables as older models were going out of commission. She noted that these types of cables tend to have around a 25-year life span and therefore need to be replaced at some stage.
Undersea cable to meet a new wave of demand
Covid-19 has had a number of wide-ranging consequences and perhaps the most noticeable is the time we spend online. Since April, tech companies have seen a spike in internet use with a record number of adults spending a quarter of their day online.
This demand requires Google to respond with a cable such as this which they hope will help to meet the increased usage. Google is not alone in this desire to improve data infrastructure.
Facebook and Microsoft are joint owners in a with telecoms company Telxius of the Marea cable, for example. Facebook also recently announced a 37,000km project to supply faster internet to 16 African companies.
Despite lagging behind the rest of the world Africa is an emerging market for tech companies. It has a large population and a growing internet uptake. Expect to see more projects such as this one over the company months and years as tech companies scramble to hit the demand placed upon them by consumers.