Google is set to lay 4,000 miles of new fiber cable between the U.S., the U.K. and Spain, in a project that will take two years to complete.
The new cable – dubbed Grace Hopper after the pioneering computer scientist – will massively increase Google’s data capacity between the U.S. and Europe. The cable, formed of 16 fiber pairs, will provide up to 350 terabytes per second of capacity, the equivalent of 17.5 million people streaming 4K video simultaneously.
The cable will run from New York on the east coast of the U.S. to Cornwall in the U.K. It will be forked as it reaches Europe, with part of the cable stretching down to Bilbao in Spain.
The project will be delivered U.S. subsea cable provider, SubCom, who use dedicated ships and subsea robots to lay the cable.
The cable is spooled off the back of a ship and down to a sea plough that is dragged along the seabed, creating a gulley that the cable will lay in. The sea plough is lifted off the seabed when its path crosses another cable, to avoid damage to the other cable, with the new cable simply laying on top of the old one.