Google is building a subsea cable linking the US to Australia

Google Cloud illustration of South Pacific Connect initiative
(Image credit: Google Cloud)

Google Cloud has announced plans for new subsea cables connecting the US, Australia, and other island nations in between.

Announced in collaboration with the Australian government, the South Pacific Connect initiative, which will see the tech giant and the Australian government work with partners including Fiji International Telecommunications, Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia, APTelecom, and Vocus Group.

The US government has committed to spending up to $15 million in multiple stages, beginning with a $5 million investment – Australia will fund the majority of the project, coughing up $50 million to cover the rest of the bill.

US-Australia subsea cable planned, linking islands in between

The connection is set to comprise two lines. Tabua, named after a sacred Fijian whale’s tooth, will connect the countries via Fiji. Honomoana, a Polynesian compound word made up of ‘link’ and ‘ocean’, will extend a second line via French Polynesia.

A series of branching points have also been strategically placed along the cable’s routes in order to extend connections to other Pacific Islands. The ocean and its land masses are prone to events, like natural disasters, that have previously affected connections. The hope is that the South Pacific Connect Initiative will improve low-latency connections between the islands and beyond.

A separate White House fact sheet highlights plans to extend connections to the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Google notes that subsea connections can improve internet affordability and reliability, and it’s hoped that improved connections will lead to economic development in all countries and nations touched by the project.

The announcement coincides with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the US, which also saw rival company Microsoft commit to spending $5 billion in the country improving its cloud computing and AI landscape, adding jobs and upskilling workers in the process.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!