Google, Bharti Airtel and Others to Lay New Undersea Cable

Google in partnership with major regional telecom providers – India’s Bharti Airtel, Malaysia’s Global Transit, Japanese KDDI, Hong Kong based Pacnet and Singapore’s SingTel – is planning for a Unity cable project to lay a 6,200-mile undersea cable linking the U.S. and Japan through the trans-Pacific route. The project costs about US$300 million, and the construction will begin immediately. The Unity cable is planned to come online with its initial capacity in the first quarter of 2010.

The Unity cable will connect Los Angeles and other sites on the West Coast to Chikura, which is off the coast near Tokyo. At Chikura, it will be connected to other cable systems serving other Asian countries. Initially, the Unity cable will have five pairs of optical fibers, with each pair having a capacity of up to 960 gigabits per second. It can be expanded to have a total of eight pairs of optical fibers.

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This would make internet access faster for Asian countries including India and would hopefully avoid cable disruptions. This would help Google and other western companies tap more into the developing Asian economy like India and China.

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