Google is building a huge undersea fiber-optic cable to connect the U.S. to Britain and Spain


  • Google’s new Grace Hopper fiber-optic cable will run from New York to Bude in the U.K. and Bilbao in Spain.
  • The cable will be used to power Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud.
  • Existing internet cables that run between the U.S. and Europe are ageing and need to be upgraded to meet future capacity requirements.

Google announced Tuesday it intends to set up a new undersea fiber-optic cable between the U.S., the U.K., and Spain as part of an effort to improve its services.

The cable — named Grace Hopper after the American computer programming pioneer — will provide “better resilience for the network that underpins Google’s consumer and enterprise products,” Google said.

“Once commissioned, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of the first new cables to connect the U.S. and U.K. since 2003, increasing capacity on this busy global crossroads and powering Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud,” said Bikash Koley, vice president of Google Global Network, in a blog post.

“It also marks our first investment in a private subsea cable route to the U.K., and our first-ever route to Spain,” Koley said. “The Spanish landing point will more tightly integrate the upcoming Google Cloud region in Madrid into our global infrastructure.”

The Mountain View-headquartered company added that the cable will incorporate “novel optical fiber switching” that will allow it to move traffic around internet outages more competently than before. It will also have 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers), which is a “significant upgrade” to the internet infrastructure that connects the U.S. with Europe, Koley said.

The cable will run along the ocean floor from New York to the Cornish seaside resort town of Bude in the U.K. and Bilbao in Spain. It will run 6,250 km from the U.S. to the U.K. and 6,300 km from the U.S. to Spain.

Google signed a contract earlier this year with underwater cable provider SubCom, which is headquartered in New Jersey, and the project is expected to be finished in 2022. Google declined to say how much the new cable is costing the company.

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