This week, a new undersea fiber-optic cable funded by Google and a consortium of Asian telecommunications companies went online. Dubbed Faster, the cable stretches about 5,600 miles from Oregon to two landing points in Japan. It's the fastest, highest capacity trans-Pacific undersea cable ever built. It can theoretically deliver as much as 60 terabits per second of bandwidth—more than half the total bandwidth available between the U.S West Coast and Asia at the end of 2015, according to telecommunications consulting firm Telegeography.
Google is reserving 10 terabits of that capacity to speed up communications between its own computer data centers. The timing is fortuitous: Google announced in March that it will offer its cloud computing services from Tokyo later this year. It will also help make the Internet more resilient in earthquake prone parts of Asia.