Project Unity: Google’s Trans Pacific Underwater Cable

September 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

Reports today have included this item that I think is much more significant than others, Google to build a trans-Pacific multi-terabit undersea communications cable. Dubbed project "Unity", the cable is planned to be completed by 2009.

Duncan Riley of TechCrunch reports, "The Unity cable has been under development for several months, and Google is said to have met with Telstra (Australia’s largest telco) and Asia Netcomm in Sydney last week. The cable would run to Australia via Guam and Hawaii.

Interchange cable fees have always been a large issue for Australasian telco’s, with accusations from Australia and Asian countries that they are treated unfairly by US providers in terms of cost for data. In Australia at least, the cost of internet access is significantly higher than in the United States. Google’s move to provide a competitive Pacific Cable service could slash data costs for countries including Australia, Indonesia and even Singapore and Malaysia."

This is definitely good news for Australasia and Google who could dominate the data cable market in the region with their planned lower rates and larger cable. There are no reports yet on how Google, Telstra and Asia NetComm will be delivering services. MY guess is that they’ll slash down the rates of data services forcing their competition to follow or possibly sell out.

All in all, this is going to be an interesting chapter in the communications history of the Australasian region.