Google today announced plans to lay a new transatlantic undersea cable that connects the United States to two different points in Europe. The cable, which is named after computer scientist Grace Hopper, will connect New York to the town of Bude in the United Kingdom and the city of Bilbao in Spain. This private cable will be used to bolster Google’s services around the world.
In its announcement today, Google says that this will be “one of the first new cables to connect the US and UK since 2003,” in addition to being the first time Google has invested in a subsea cable to the country. Google will use the cable to power services like Meet, Gmail, and Google Cloud.
The route to Spain has a different destiny, it seems, as Google says that it will be used to bolster the Google Cloud region that’s currently planned for Madrid. That cloud region was first announced back in June, when Google revealed that it will be working with Spain’s Telefonica to help accelerate the country’s “digital transformation” in the 5G era.
Google says that the cable will be built and laid by a company out of New Jersey called SubCom – the contract for the cable was signed earlier this year, though Google doesn’t expect the project to be complete until sometime in 2022. The cable will use 16 fiber pairs and novel optical fiber switching to help make it more resilient to outages. Google even says that this new cable will make it easier to connect the US and Europe to it Equiano cable, which is currently under construction along Africa’s western coast.
Grace Hopper is joining Curie, Durant, and Equiano as the fourth private subsea cable that Google has invested in. As the company shifts its focus more toward the cloud and edge computing, we could see it invest in even more cables of this type, but for now, it sounds like it has its hands full with the cables that are in progress.