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Google's 'FASTER' 9000km, 60Tbps Transpacific Fiber Optics Cable Completed (9to5google.com) 73

An anonymous reader writes from a report via 9to5Google: Google and an association of telecom providers have announced that the FASTER broadband cable system that links Japan and the United States is now complete. The system is the fastest of its kind and stretches nearly 9,000 km across the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, starting in Oregon and ending in two landing spots in Japan. The association consists of Google, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, Singtel, and supplier NEC Corporation. The estimated construction cost of the project was $300 million in 2014. At 60 terabits per second, FASTER will help "support the expected four-fold increase in broadband traffic demand between Asia and North America." The system uses a six-fiber pair cable and the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology. The service is scheduled to start on June 30, 2016, and will help increase the connectivity between Google's data centers scattered around the globe.
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Google's 'FASTER' 9000km, 60Tbps Transpacific Fiber Optics Cable Completed

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  • Would it really be that much more expensive to drop 50 or more if you are doing it? I would think that most of the cost is not in the materials but labor.
    • It would, actually (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:16AM (#52417569)

      Undersea cables are interesting beasts. When you look at them they are MASSIVE and so you figure there are a lot of pairs. Nope. 4-8 usually. All the rest is shielding and power. The big limiting factor size and cost wise is the amplifiers. You have to have a bunch of optical amplifiers in-line with the cable, and those have to be powered from the shore. Obviously each channel needs its own amplification so in the case of 6 pairs that's 12 amps. You then need a set of 12 amps periodically along the cable.Every few hundred km or so.

      Hence, undersea cables are small in count when laid. Very different form land. If you hook up a building, fuck it you probably lay 144 fibers minimum because that's a small sized bundle. However for those long-haul undersea connection, it is just a few fibers per massive line.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Makes me wonder why they do not run the cable up to Alaska and then to Japan. The total cable would be longer but less of it would be at sea.

        • by Durrik ( 80651 )
          Mainly for latency reasons. From what I can find from a simple google search [extremetech.com] most optical cables transmit light 31% slower than in a vacuum. This means that for every 1000 km you add to the length of the cable you ad 4.8 ms of latency (if I did my math right)

          4.8 ms might not seem like a lot, but when you're talk about needing speed it is one of the factors that is important. Trading, online games, etc. I'm not sure how much distance you will add if you run it up to Alaska and then over. If you're w

          • by Shatrat ( 855151 )

            You did the math right. 5 microseconds is what I use at work because that also will cover the electronics, transponders, OTN switches, et cetera.

          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

            Would it actually be a lot longer? Often airliners will do a great circle route and stop in Alaska when going to Japan or Korea. It would be easier to maintain but I wonder if it would be any cheaper to run. After all the bottom of the ocean is free and you just need a ship to spool it out. It might be cheaper then running it over land.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's with all the Yay Google stories? Is Google paying the Slashdot colo bill or something?

  • I don't want any radioactive zeros or ones showing up at my Ethernet port.
  • Will this fix the lag in Splatoon?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      9,000km/speed of light = 30ms.
      Koreans tend to ragequit at anything above 10ms.
      Don't worry, you are still safe.

  • The system is the fastest of its kind ... 60 terabits per second

    Wouldn't that be the largest, the widest, or the broadest, or something like that? I'm guessing the latency for the distance isn't any lower than most other connections "of its kind", i.e.fiber optic, AKA light through fibers. Pretty sure light through the same material type generally travels the same speed.

    I mean, we don't call this the "fastest" dump truck in the world [youtube.com] because it hauls a larger payload a similar speed as other dump trucks.

    • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <slashdot3@@@justconnected...net> on Wednesday June 29, 2016 @10:17PM (#52417275)

      It depends what you mean by fastest. As you note we have a perfectly good word for "the time it takes for a bit to make it out the other end" - latency. Most people probably intuitively associate bandwidth with speed, though, because it's most directly relevant to what they do, which is try to transfer quantities of data. If it takes 1 minute to download a movie on one connection and 10 on another, but both are identical latency, most people will say the former is 10 times faster - because it is, for what they use it for. A gamer who has specific needs might prefer a lower-bandwidth but lower-latency (or jitter) connection, but probably wouldn't call it faster - they'd say it was lower latency because they know most people associate speed with bandwidth. Your dump truck wouldn't be called the fastest, but if the typical person had a mountain of soil they wanted moved and called up the earth-moving companies to give them a bid, the one with the biggest trucks would probably be able to bid the shortest time.

      Of course, if it's a more direct routing, it may indeed be the lowest-latency link between those two points.

    • by adolf ( 21054 ) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 29, 2016 @10:26PM (#52417309) Journal

      A 90's analogy:

      "I need to buy a faster modem."

      A Slashdotter's pedantic rebuttal:

      "But it's not fast! It's stationary!"

      Followed by,

      "How fast is stationary engine, then?"

      [...]

      Please, just just stop.

    • Wouldn't that be the largest, the widest, or the broadest, or something like that?

      Communications speeds have always been predominantly measured by throughput / bandwidth. It's fastest because you can fit a lot more data through it in less time. If you're streaming a movie, you can start watching it much sooner, because the connection is faster. Latency would have almost no affect on that.

      Lower latency is only important in a few narrow applications, and within practical limits, it doesn't matter in most u

    • People say "faster" because the page loads faster. Isn't that what counts practically?
  • The headline should read that, because that's exactly what this project is all about.

    NSA's Google can't encourage enough people to send them their personal details by utilising various Google spyware like android/chrome/mail/search/etc, so they had to forcefully enter the market and push themselves down peoples throat, whether people like it or not.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A cable system being built by a Japanese firm out of Chinese components, managed by Singaporean, Chinese and Japanese telcos. But it has Google as a minor sponsor, so you think it's an NSA plot?

      • Anytime google is involved, they're getting something out of it.
        But I may just be wrong, and google is funding this out of the goodness of their corporate hearts ;)

        But when I think about Google's Fiber, Wifi, DNS, etc, it's obvious there's no stopping them in the lengths they go to, to further invade and learn about individuals, especially those that don't use any google products and manage to some-what evade their tracking using adblock, etc.

        • by Threni ( 635302 )

          A for-profit business spent millions of dollars on something directly connected to their business and you've figured out that they did it as part of the business? Wow, you're a fucking smart guy. NSA better look out before you investigate whether or not they too have.... no, it doesn't bear thinking about.

        • by cjjjer ( 530715 )
          Google has only one product and that is you the user.
      • No plot, it's just the newest lane in the "Offshoring Superhighway".

  • They will be CHEAPER and BETTER. But you'll only be able to use any two of them at one time.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      less than the third of the price of instagram... atleast we have our priorities straight.

  • by Knightman ( 142928 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @02:08AM (#52417761)

    So Japan can now watch American p0rn faster and American can watch Japanese p0rn faster also! ;)

  • I recall back in 2007 they proposed an easily installable FO link... https://archive.google.com/tis... [google.com]
    • I think they renamed that project SHIT (Sewer Hosted Internet Topology).
  • replicating most of slowly changing web contents. Use the capacity for phone calls between people.

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