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Google’s Undersea Cable Will Support Growing Data Between US, Brazil, Argentina

Google's undersea cable ship

Google’s undersea cable ship


Google is building a new submarine cable to transmit your megabits between the eastern United States, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The fiber-optic cable, called Firmina after Brazilian abolitionist, is scheduled to begin operating in 2023.

“The Internet infrastructure is not in the cloud. It’s under the ocean,” said Bikash Koley, Google’s vice president of global networks. Firmina is the 16th submarine cable that Google has built or invested in. “The Internet continues to grow every year. I expect that train to continue,” he said.

Increasing capacity is critical to support consumer services such as search, Gmail and YouTube, and business infrastructure such as Google Cloud. Google says about 98% of international data travels by submarine cables that cross the bottom of the oceans and seas. And Google Meet video conferencing has increased 25 times in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

as it does with it Daily Google DoodlesGoogle pays homage to famous people with underwater cable names The cable is named after Maria Firmina dos Reis, a multiethnic writer who wrote about the life of Afro-Brazilian slaves in her 1859 novel Úrsula. Google also featured her 194 birthday. Google doodle in 2019

Google names its own submarine cables in alphabetical order. Most of the recently announced underwater cables are called Grace Hopper, after the pioneering computer scientist and discoverer of a real bug in early computers. “The sequence looks a little misleading,” Coley said of the naming sequence. Previously Google cables were named Curie, Dunant and Equiano.

Google hasn’t disclosed the expected data capacity of the cable. Instead, it transmits data to 12 fiber-optic cables over thousands of miles. For comparison, the 16-pair Grace Hopper cable has a capacity of 250 terabits per second. with 16 pairs of fiber cables linking the US to the UK and Spain.

Firmina Undersea Cable Route

Google’s Firmina subsea cable will link the US with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.


This is approximately 250,000 times faster than broadband with gigabit per second using fiber optic cables. Submarine cables can compress more data using more fiber-optic cables, and with more expensive terminals that take advantage of more optical frequencies and other signal processing techniques to compress more data, Koley. say

Google hires SubCom to design and install cables. It will produce the cables this year at its factory in Newington, NH. and install cables in the summer of 2022, SubCom said in a statement.

Submarine cables must increase signal strength every 100 kilometers (62 miles), and the wires included in the cable supply power. One unusual characteristic of the Firmina is that it can be driven from either end of the line. This improves reliability over conventional designs that rely on power from both ends all the time, Koley said.

This method, which SubCom calls single-ended feeding. Requires an 18kV power supply, which is approximately 20% higher than conventional designs. SubCom expects Firmina to be the longest cable to use the technology.

Google hasn’t picked a site for US cable stations yet. Southern destinations include Las Toninas in Argentina, Praia Grande in Brazil and Punta del Este in Uruguay.

Google is engaged in partnerships with other cable providers. by exchanging similar path capabilities to strengthen the overall communication link.

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