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The internet relies on fiber optic cables to function, and linking the different areas of the world requires installing huge subsea cables to keep up with demand. Today, Google announced its latest cable, named Curie, has successfully been installed and tested.

Curie counts as the thirteenth Google-funded cable installation and it links Los Angeles to Chile. The subsea cable arrived in Chile back in April(Opens in a new window) where it was connected before undergoing testing. With that testing now complete, Google is in the process of hooking it up to the company’s network and expects data to start transmitting in the second quarter of 2020.

The cable consists of four 18Tbps fiber optic pairs which stretch 10,500km. Every 100km an amplifier (also known as a repeater) is present to amplify the signal. It’s a private cable Google intends to use for Search, Cloud, Gmail, and YouTube data transmission, which it should easily cope with for decades to come thanks to offering 72Tbps of bandwidth.

Curie is the first subsea cable to connect to Chile in 19 years and Google is already working on its first branch into Panama. The cable engineering, manufacturing, and installation was handled by SubCom, and as the video above explains, it’s mostly an automated process except for the loading of the cable on to the ship ready for it to be deployed.

Google has already announced its next two subsea cable projects. The first is Dunant(Opens in a new window), which will link the US and France, offer 250Tbps of bandwidth, and counts as the first subsea cable to use space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology. The second cable is called Equiano(Opens in a new window), and it will connect Portugal to South Africa. Equiano promises to bring 20-times more network capacity compared to the last cable installed for the region and branching will allow more African countries to be served with a reliable internet connection in the future.

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