According to The Wall Street Journal (1/17/18), Google is expanding its already large network of undersea cables to access new regions around the world not currently well served by its competitors, as well as to give itself some rerouting capabilities if a region fails or gets overloaded. It’s all part of the now unstoppable growth of cloud computing services, as well as a play to keep up with its two greatest competitors, Amazon and Microsoft.
Google VP Ben Treynor professes that he “would prefer not to have to be in the cable-building consortium business” but found there weren’t a lot of other options.
Google parent Alphabet already owns a massive of network of fiber optic cables and data centers, already handling about 25% of the world’s internet traffic. These facilities allow Google to control its data-intensive software without having to rely on the bit telecommunications providers.
After a decade of construction, Google will soon have 11 underwater cables around the world. They’re used to “refresh research results, move video files and serve cloud computing customers” around the globe.
And at that, Google currently ranks third in cloud-computing revenue behind Amazon and Microsoft in the biggest tech race going on the planet now. Billions of dollars of revenue annually are at stake, the Journal points out, as companies increasingly move various data operations to the cloud.
Currently, its longest cable stretches 6,200 miles from Los Angeles to Chile. But Google has also teamed up with others, like Facebook, for its latest build-out. They plan to share capacity on a 4,500 mile cable from the east coast of the U.S. to Denmark, with an additional terminal in Ireland, thus increasing its bandwidth across the Atlantic.
Another cable of 2,400 miles will be run from Hong Kong to Guam, hooking up with cable systems from Australis, East Asia and North America.
The internet build-out continues, as does the march to cloud dominance. Only today, you’ve got to have a few billion dollars in your pockets to play.