Google is building its fourth private subsea cable

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Google on Tuesday announced its fourth private subsea cable, connecting the US, the UK and Spain. Named for the computer science pioneer Grace Hopper, the new subsea cable will be the world’s first to incorporate novel optical fiber switching that allows for increased reliability in global communications. 

The new cable will be Google’s first investment in a subsea cable route directly to Spain. Last month, Google announced it will be opening up a new Google Cloud region in Madrid and partnering with the telecommunications giant Telefonica to advance 5G mobile edge computing. 

The Grace Hopper cable will also be one of the first new cables to connect the US to the UK since 2003, adding capacity across the busy route. 

Google already has three other private subsea cables: The Curie cable connects the US to Chile and Panama, the Dunant connects the US and France, and the Equiano connects Portugal to Nigeria and South Africa. Private cables help Google maintain better resiliency and security for its services while allowing the tech giant to plan for future capacity needs. 

The Grace Hopper cable will include 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers). Google signed a contract earlier this year to build the cable with Eatontown, NJ-based subsea cable provider, SubCom, and the project is expected to be completed in 2022.

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