Microsoft and Facebook might be trying to plant a submarine cable across the Atlantic, but Google has it beat when it comes to the Pacific. Granted, the FASTER cable system did start a lot earlier, almost two years ago. Now the consortium that runs the program has proudly announced that construction of the undersea cable is now done and that FASTER is ready to deliver faster Internet between Japan and the US West Coast, which, of course, also promises to improve Internet connectivity and service in neighboring states and cities.
The FASTER consortium is made up of five other companies, most of them Internet service providers: China Mobile International and China Telecom Global of China, KDDI of Japan, Global Transit of Malaysia, and Singtel of Singapore. The construction of the cable itself, however, is credited to the NEC corporation, making FASTER the first submarine cable built solely by the company.
Spanning 9,000 km, the cable system utilizes 100 Gbps coherent optics technology to deliver data at a speed of 60 Tbps. It is considered the first trans-Pacific undersea system to promise those speeds. One end of the line is located at Oregon in the US while the other end splits into two, one at Chiba Prefecture and the other at Mie Prefecture. Of course, those are just the primary end points of the system. Both ends will connect to major hubs in the West Coast, including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. The same is true for the Japan endpoint, delivering improved data capacities to neighboring Asian cities.
The increase in the use of Internet services, whether through Wi-Fi or cellular signals, have necessitated a substantial upgrade of the world’s Internet backbones. At least on the Pacific side of the globe, FASTER promises not just an increase in capacity and speed, it also offers network redundancy to existing cable systems, to compensate for a four-fold increase in data traffic between the two continents.