Six global companies have formed a consortium and signed an agreement to build and operate a trans-Pacific cable system to connect the United States to two locations in Japan to provide better Internet access and faster speeds. The total cost is estimated at $300 million.
China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel are among the six companies building the system, dubbed FASTER. NEC will supply the system, described as a "state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth." Construction begins immediately with a scheduled complete date during the second quarter of 2016.
The system aims to support faster Internet access speeds and an increase in cloud computing, per Urs Holzle, senior VP of technical infrastructure and Google Fellow at Google. In a Google+ blog post, he wrote "sometimes the fastest path requires going through an ocean. That’s why we’re investing in FASTER, a new undersea cable that will connect major West Coast cities in the US to two coastal locations in Japan with a design capacity of 60 Tbps (that's about ten million times faster than your cable modem)."
Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the West Coast, covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas. The companies said they will anchor the cable system at Chikura and Shima in Japan, and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend capacity beyond Japan to other locations in Asia.