[AusNOG] Google Plans Cable Across Pacific
skeeve at skeeve.org
Sat Sep 22 10:14:54 EST 2007
Google plans new undersea "Unity" cable across Pacific
September 21st, 2007 in CommsDay ASEAN
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Google is planning a multi-terabit undersea communications cable across the
Pacific Ocean for launch in 2009, Communications Day has learned.
The Unity cable has been under development for several months, with a group
of carriers and Google meeting for high-level talks on the plan in Sydney
Google would not strictly confirm or deny the existence of the Unity plan
today, with spokesman Barry Schnitt telling our North American correspondent
Patrick Neighly that "Additional infrastructure for the Internet is good for
users and there are a number of proposals to add a Pacific submarine cable.
We're not commenting on any of these plans."
However, Communications Day understands that Unity would see Google join
with other carriers to build a new multi-terabit cable. Google would get
access to a fibre pair at build cost handing it a tremendous cost advantage
over rivals such as MSN and Yahoo, and also potentially enabling it to peer
with Asia ISPs behind their international gateways - considerably improving
the affordability of Internet services across Asia Pacific.
Communications Day cannot confirm the identity of the other carriers working
with Google, although we have learned that both Asia Netcom and Telstra have
discussed the concept with the California-based search and online
advertising giant. One source suggested that the main player behind the
planned Asia America Gateway cable - Telekom Malaysia - has not been invited
to participate in talks. The same source speculated that at least half a
dozen companies are party to the plans.
The exact route for the cable is not yet finally determined although there
are plans for a configuration using two separate routes to provide network
diversity. It would potentially also be able to service Australia via
interconnect to new and existing cables in Guam and Hawaii.
The Unity name was first revealed in public in early September when Level 3
executive Mike Saunders listed it as one of several new cables planned
across the Pacific in a Singapore conference presentation. Saunders'
presentation warned of the potential for the new cables to create a new
trans-Pacific capacity bubble, although he did not link Unity to Google. His
presentation said Unity was planned for a service launch in 2009.
Google also hinted at its ambitions in job advertisements earlier this year.
In one for a submarine cable negotiator, it specified a job description that
said in part "These negotiators will work closely with vendors to identify
highly cost-effective solutions under the most favorable commercial and
technical terms possible. They will also be involved in new projects or
investments in cable systems that Google may contemplate to extend or grow
Google's infrastructure ambitions are no secret. The company has committed
substantial expenditure on dark fibre and a network of data centres across
the United States, and also recently indicated its interest in bidding for
new 700MHz spectrum allocations there.
Communications Day reported on 8 February that Google had begun peering with
ISPs, enabling them to reduce their reliance on transit services via Tier 1
non-peering major IP networks such as Level 3 and AT&T.
Asked to comment on its hire of submarine cable specialists, Google told
Communications Day "It should come as no surprise that Google is looking for
qualified people to help secure additional network capacity. In some parts
of the world, these people will work with submarine cables because there is
a lot of ocean out there."
Another source said that Google's move could be disruptive to the capacity
industry as it takes a major source of traffic - and revenue - out of the
general market place.
by Grahame Lynch
Skeeve Stevens, RHCE
skeeve at skeeve.org / www.skeeve.org
Cell +61 (0)414 753 383 / skype://skeeve
eintellego - skeeve at eintellego.net - www.eintellego.net
I'm a groove licked love child king of the verse
Si vis pacem, para bellum
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