Facebook and Google Will Stretch Internet Cable from LA to Hong Kong

HardOCP News

[H] News
Dec 31, 1969
Just imagine how fast you'll be able to "like" something on Facebook at 120 terabits-per-second. :eek: Don't get too excited just yet, the cable won't come online until 2018.

Today, alongside partners in Asia, the two Internet giants announced they will build the longest and highest capacity undersea fiber-optic cable between the two continents. Once completed, the Pacific Light Cable Network—PLCN for short—will stretch 8,000 miles from Los Angeles to Hong Kong with an estimated capacity of 120 terabits-per-second. That’s about twice the capacity of the Oregon-to-Japan cable “Faster,” which Google recently launched with several telco partners. Construction of the new cable will begin this year, and it should come online in 2018.
I would look into buying stock in whoever is building this. Their earnings should reflect the income after construction starts and can make some ducats on the news.

Looks like one of the partners is private but TEL is involved and public.
That is what I thought.. is it like just throwing something in the depth of the water (I assume a very special/ tough cable though) and calling a day?

120tPs is going to be a little weak by 2018, with this much power I wonder if it will act like an invisible fence for dogs but keep the fish from crossing over.
That's right folks, despite the advancements in wireless technology, good old wired connections are still the fastest, securest, and most reliable.
They should have gone for 500Tbit capacity.
120tPs is going to be a little weak by 2018, with this much power I wonder if it will act like an invisible fence for dogs but keep the fish from crossing over.

I'm not sure what cables you've heard about, but afaik this would be one huge cable. I thought one of the larger connections right now was around 10Tbps and the best I can find is a report from 2013 saying the active undersea was somewhere around 87Tbits total capacity.

Total transoceanic bandwidth, as of year-end 2013, was 87 Tbps.

I thought I remember reading something about plans for larger cables in like the 80Tbit range, but I'm not sure of anyone else going for more than 100Tbit. I'd be interested though if you had a link or links of some of the other large projects going on.

I wonder how many fibre pairs/wavelenghts per pair/speed per wavelenght they will use to get that aggregated speed.

If the current largest capacities are on 100Gbit, that would take approx. 1,200 strands to deliver the necessary bandwidth. Maybe they are hoping by then to have 400Gbit or 1Tbit links by then. The costs associated with either outcome must be massive, so I'm sure they have a plan for using this capacity.
It will most definitely not be 1200 strands in that cable. Normally an undersea cables consist of three things: 8 or so fibre pairs, signal regenerators and a 40000V power feed for the signal regenerators.

The current limit today is to run 80 wavelenghts on a single fibre using DWDM. If you were to feed each wavelenght 100Gbit/s, that is 8Tbit/s unidirectional, with a pair that is 16Tbit full duplex. 8 pairs would offer 128TB full duplex. So yes technically possible, just extremely complex and I don't even dare to think of the cost.

Ah I've never looked into that portion. I thought it was 100gbe on a strand after utilizing DWDM. I didn't think you could get 8tbps currently from one strand. The largest cables are 288 strands? So I was figuring it might have to be a couple of those.
Last edited:
8000 miles of cable, yet try to get Google fiber done in a city and the main thing stopping is whether or not city leaders will fold for all the tax breaks that Google wants.
Absolutely no mention of Australia and New Zealand. Aren't they hurting for bandwidth and lower latency routes more than Hong Kong?
So to add back to this topic, via DSLReports I found an article from NEC that has a bit better info on it.

FASTER is the first trans-Pacific submarine cable system designed from day one to support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The combination of extremely low loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processor, which compensates for the huge amount of cumulative dispersion at the end of the cable, enable this six-fiber pair cable to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.


According to DSLReports Google has a pair dedicated to them and they are planning on running 100gbe x 100 wavelengths on it, so 10Tbps in each direction.

Google Helps Launch Highest Capacity Undersea Cable Ever