Google Looking at a Trans-Pacific Link?

Google is planning a multi-terabit undersea communications cable across the Pacific Ocean, reports telecom news site Communications Day, but it’s unclear whether this big fat tube will bless Hawaii with bandwidth or pass us by entirely.

Dubbed the “Unity” cable, the trans-Pacific link would be built in partnership with several carriers and, when launched in 2009, give Google a major cost and access advantage over MSN and Yahoo! when it comes to reaching Asia and the Pacific Rim. Notes Communications Day:

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.

Which means Hawaii may very well benefit from the “Unity” project… even if only as a pitstop on the way to more attractive markets. Hawaii is pretty wired, but bandwidth availability could always be better… especially given the rich media future envisioned for everyday folk.

Hawaii Connectivity

For some time, I presumed that our links to the rest of the world consisted mostly of the Southern Cross Cable (Australia and New Zealand to California with stops on Oahu and the Big Island) and the Japan-US system (Japan to California with a stop in Makaha).

But according to a 2003 Enterprise Honolulu presentation, Hawaii benefits from numerous fiber optic links to the rest of the Pacific Rim, including J-US and Southern Cross but also:

  1. 360 Pacific (Japan-Big Island-Nedonna California/Naoetsu Japan-Oahu-Seattle)
  2. HAW-4 (Oahu-San Francisco)
  3. HAW-5 (Oahu-San Luis Obispo)
  4. PACRIM East (Oahu-New Zealand)
  5. TPC-3 (Oahu-Guam-Japan)
  6. TPC-5 (Guam-Oahu-San Luis Obispo)

And earlier this year, the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable was announced, which includes Hawaii on its globe-spanning route (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam and the U.S. West Coast).

Perhaps soon we’ll be able to add Google and the “Unity” cable to the growing list of Hawaii links.

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