If you think that your 5Mbps home broadband connection is fast, you need to take a look at a new Google-backed 17Tbps fat pipe for Southeast Asia. In a bid to fix the reoccurring cable-cutting problems hitting the two largest Internet backbones in Asia, Google and other Asian partners are investing in this with $400m to improve internet connections in countries including Thailand and the Philippines.
If you remember various news stories about Internet lines being cut around the world with an accent on large ports such as the Singaporean one, Hong Kong or around the Suez Canal, the lack of backups for the primary SEA-ME-WE-4 caused a lot of service disruptions in the past.
After heavily investing in increasing the bandwidth between United States and Japan, with several dedicated 10Tbps Internet backbones, Google decided to invest heavily in expanding that backbone to reach Singapore as well.
With a capacity equivalent to a quarter of a billion normal phone lines, this 17Tbps connection will have more than 5,000 miles of cable and could be upgraded to run as fast as 23Tbps if needed in future.
This undersea Southeast Asia-Japan Cable is going to be shared by more than a few people when it hooks up Singapore, Japan and points in between in 2012, but it’s still an impressive feat. Given the progression of Google’s investments, it isn’t hard to guess who might be the next: Asian-European part of FLAG Europe Asia.