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Google’s New Underwater Web Cable Will Carry Millions of 4K Videos Simultaneously

Google has unveiled its latest submarine web cable will soon be open for business, having successfully moored in the UK.

Announced in July 2020, the Grace Hopper cable (named after the creator of COBOL) connects the UK, US and Spain and will provide additional capacity and resilience on these communication corridors.

According to a Google blog post, the cable will be the first to link the UK and US since 2003, and will play a major role in supporting collaboration between businesses across the Atlantic.

“Many people around the world use Google products on a daily basis to stay in touch with friends and family, travel from point A to point B, find new customers, or export products to new markets,” noted Google.

“As the first Google funded cable to the UK, Grace Bopper is part of our continued investment in the country, supporting the users who rely on our products and the customers who use our tools to grow their business.”

The project also marks Google’s first investment in an undersea cable mooring in Spain and will serve to connect the Google Cloud region in Madrid to the company’s wider global infrastructure.

Record capacity

Thanks to a whopping 16 pairs of fibers, the Grace Hopper cable will boast a record capacity of 340 Tbps, which Google says equates to about 17.5 million people streaming 4K video at a time. The current record is held by Google’s Dunant cable, which delivers 250 Tbps.

The new cable also benefits from a new technique of “fiber switching” supposed to minimize the risk of breakdowns.

“Grace Hopper will use this new switching architecture to provide optimal levels of network flexibility and resiliency to accommodate unforeseen outages or traffic patterns. This multidirectional switching architecture is a significant step forward in times of uncertainty, ”said Jayne Stowell, who works on the project at Google Cloud.

According to Stowell, the new cable will carry traffic “quickly and securely” across the Atlantic Ocean, supporting popular Google services, such as Gmail and Meet.

Over the past year, Google has announced a slew of new submarine web cables in an effort to meet global demand, including Firmine, Dunant, Apricot, Blue and Raman. In total, the company now owns at least one stake in nineteen different cable networks.

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