In a significant development, Google and Facebook have jointly entered into a partnership with a China Soft Power Holdings subsidiary. This is to establish Pacific Light Cable Network connectivity from Los Angeles and Hong Kong with a high-capacity Internet cable. According to sources, the Pacific Light Cable Network will stretch 12,800 kilometres. It is expected to cross the Pacific Ocean and will provide a unique connectivity between the two locations.
In a join press release issued by Google and Facebook, the companies disclosed that they are working with Pacific Light Data Communication Company and with undersea communications technology firm TE SubCom on the cable. The new system will be commissioned by the middle of 2018.
Pacific Light Cable Network will handle 120TB of data
Commenting on the development, Google network infrastructure director Brian Quigley disclosed that the proposed cable network will have the capability to handle 120 terabytes of data per second. This will be sufficient to enable 80 million high-definition video conference calls simultaneously between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
Pacific Light Cable Network to offer low latency routes between Hong Kong and the US
Responding to media, PLDC chairman Wei Junkang said that the network will offer lowest-latency fiber optic routes between Hong Kong and the US. It will be the first to connect directly using ultra-high-capacity transmission. He expressed satisfaction that global technology companies such as Google and Facebook have become part of the network.
According to Najam Ahmad, Facebook vice president of network engineering revealed that most Pacific subsea cables stretch from the US to Japan. Since the number of people using Facebook apps and services continues to grow in the region, an effective Pacific network will enable people to connect Asia and our data centres in the US. Meanwhile, Ahmad also said that this new direct route will provide more diversity and resiliency in the Pacific.
The upcoming PLCN is regarded as the sixth submarine cable in which Google has a stake in ownership. The search engine giant is claimed to possess the largest network backbone of any public cloud provider. In the past, Microsoft and Facebook had established a partnership to lay a high-speed Internet cable across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.