Google and Facebook have both jumped in to the private fibre game with two trans-oceanic cables being announced within days of each other.
Google already has three cables (Curie, which connects the West Coast of the US with central America and South America, Dunant, which runs from the US to France, and Equiano, which services Portugal down the west coast of Africa to South Africa) and now adds in its first US to UK cable, the Grace Hopper, which is the first such new cable since the early 2000s.
“Private subsea cables allow us to plan effectively for the future capacity needs of our customers and users around the world, and add a layer of security beyond what’s available over the public internet,” says Google on its blog.
Facebook is looking further south with its two new cables – Bifrost and Echo – which run from the West Coast of the US down through South East Asia to Indonesia and Singapore.
“Connecting Singapore, Indonesia, and North America, these cable investments reflect our commitment to openness and our innovative partnership model, in which we work with a variety of leading Indonesian and global partners to ensure that everyone benefits from developing scale infrastructure and shared technology expertise,” says Facebook on its blog.
Neither company has confirmed capacity (although Google says Grace Hopper will have 16 fibre pairs, something it calls a “significant upgrade”). Both projects are expected to go live in 2022.