Google Cloud announces first cable connecting South America and APAC

Google Australia Pty Ltd

Monday, 15 January, 2024

Google Cloud announces first cable connecting South America and APAC

Google Cloud, in partnership with Desarrollo País and the Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia, has announced a project to build the first undersea fibre-optic cable between South America and Asia–Pacific. The Humboldt Cable Project will connect Chile’s port city of Valparaiso with Sydney through 14,800 km of fibre-optic cable with a capacity of 144 terabytes and a 25-year lifespan, according to the Chilean Government.

“When operational, Humboldt will strengthen the reliability and resilience of digital connectivity across the Pacific by interconnecting the cables that comprise the South Pacific Connect initiative and adding geographically diverse cable investments that link French Polynesia and Chile,” Google Cloud said in a press release. “A direct fibre-optic network link between South America and the Asia–Pacific region has been an ambition of the Chilean Government since 2016, and we’re partnering to turn this vision into reality.”

“Chile is a country that is at the forefront of technology and is a leader in the implementation of the latest-generation networks,” said Juan Carlos Muñoz, Transportation and Telecommunications Minister of Chile. “As a government, we are working day by day to consolidate this position and create the conditions for new investments of this kind to continue to arrive.”

“Australia welcomes this new trans-Pacific cable connecting Australia and Latin America for the first time, supporting the growth of digital and economic ties,” said Michelle Rowland, Australian Minister for Communications. “This new cable route will enhance Australia’s global connectivity and complement our work with Pacific countries to secure better access to the global digital economy.”

“Economic vitality in my country relies on investments in the digital sector. We are thrilled to collaborate on the Humboldt project to continue advancing French Polynesia’s digital economy and keep Tahiti on the cutting edge of innovation,” added President Moetai Brotherson of French Polynesia.

Google said the Humboldt will join other infrastructure projects, including the Google data centre in Quilicura powering Google services, the Google Cloud region in Santiago supporting customers across Latin America, the cross-Andes terrestrial connectivity between Chile and Argentina, and the Curie subsea cable linking Chile, Panama and the west coast of the United States.

By improving international connectivity, subsea cables help drive economic growth in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and job creation. Greater network capacity and lower latency enable businesses and public sector organisations to deliver better digital experiences to their customers and constituents, and people can gain skills and knowledge that open new career paths.

“This marks a significant milestone for the flagship project, the Humboldt submarine cable,” said Patricio Rey Sommer, General Manager of Desarrollo País. “After years of dedicated work, we are now entering the materialisation phase. Google, our esteemed international partner, ensures that these works will adhere to the highest technical standards. Our goal is to position Chile as a global digital hub, seamlessly connecting countries in the region with the Asia–Pacific.”

The Humboldt cable is named for Alexander von Humboldt, a German polymath, geographer, naturalist and explorer who travelled extensively to the Americas at the turn of the 19th century. The moniker was selected by Chilean residents, who voted via social media in a naming contest organised by Desarrollo País and Chile’s Undersecretary of Telecommunications (Subtel).

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