Google’s Pacific Wing: Is the Company Investing in Undersea Cables?

Recent reports by the Wall Street Journal suggest that Google might be looking at investing in more undersea cable, which will run across the Pacific Ocean. This will likely be to connect their Oregon data centres to Japan. This move, which is unsurprising, forms part of a global trend of internet giants brimming with cash, seeking to control their own traffic, and cutting out the middle man.

under sea cabling

Be that as it may it will be a costly affair, with Google’s previous endeavour in 2010 costing them in excess of $ 300 Million. That may seem like an inordinate amount of money, but believe it or not, it is fast becoming a necessity. Having their own fibre means they control the type of traffic they send, and how much they send.

Estimations currently say that private networks, used by banks, large corporates and internet giants, are using 25% of all international traffic, which leaves 75% for everything else, including telephony, browsing and streaming. Google uses their portion mostly for their internal ‘B4’ network, which carries e-mails, YouTube videos and other traffic between its various data centres.

Some more theories have emerged as to why Google might be doing this. Some say that it could be to remove its dependence on local telecoms companies, that are becoming greedy and charging exorbitant rates on data transmission, because they think they have the monopoly on communication. Seems like everyone wants a piece of the Google pie.

Despite that, it does make sound business sense for Google to build their own network. They are venturing into so many new fields and businesses, that interconnecting them is just the next logical step. Even though it requires an enormous amount of money upfront, it does deliver long term savings, as there is no more yearly mark-ups or greedy middlemen. It also means they can upgrade the line on their own time and cost.

I’ve said a lot of words, and all you’re thinking is: “How does this affect me?” Technically you will be getting better service, quicker search results whilst on Google, videos could load faster, and your email could be less delayed. But it really has no effect, Google already uses all the infrastructure, now they will just own the line, instead of hiring it.

Google is gearing towards being self-reliant, where they can deliver the best possible service to you, on their own terms, without interference from telecoms companies, governments and leased lines. Google needs to always be better, faster, and have more choices. An unapologetic need to rule is what got them this far, and it is what will continue to carry them into the future.

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