In a groundbreaking development, global data center and interconnection company Equinix has completed Phase I of a new “faster-than-light” communications network that connects New York to London through the Earth’s core. The stealth project, which relied on advanced cabling and drilling technologies, has created a low latency path that’s 30% faster than any existing route and promises to transform the global communications and Internet landscape.
Conventional methods of inter-continental communications have relied on sub-sea cables for over 150 years. “While undersea cables still have their place, we wanted to dramatically improve the speed at which communications could take place,” said Ravi Ravishankar, Equinix’s VP of Product Offering and Management. “We realized we were approaching the physical speed limits of traditional approaches, so we understood we’d have to pursue a more disruptive approach. Ultimately, there’s no more direct path than going through the Earth – so that’s what we have done.”
Four years ago, Equinix quietly started assembling a team of deep-Earth drilling experts and geologists to develop technologies that would enable the ambitious plan. Recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology allowed the team to develop innovative carbon nanotube-based materials and build drills capable of handling the intense the heat and pressure of working at such depths.
“We view ourselves as the foundation of the technology stack,” said Bill Dembinkski, Equinix’s VP of Marketing Strategy and Operations, at the company’s ribbon-cutting event. “We build and operate high-quality data centers and now we’re providing the shortest physical path conduit between those data centers. We’ll make that conduit available to the next layer, which is the networks. Once a critical mass of networks has moved into our data centers, we’ll have an extremely valuable environment in which cloud service providers, content companies and enterprises can flourish.”
Phase 1 of the project improves communication speeds between London and New York by 30% by reducing the distance between the two cities by about 2,200 miles. Phases 2 and 3 also promise to deliver significant improvements in communications speeds.
“Strictly speaking, we’re not going faster than light, but compared to traditional trans-oceanic or trans-continental cables paths that wrap around the Earth, we’re able to achieve from 6% to 30% faster-than-speed-of-light communications,” Ravishankar said at a company press briefing.
When pressed about other secret projects Equinix may have in the works, Ravishankar responded, “Quantum entanglement-based communications is interesting.”
Although this is an April Fool’s blog entry, Equinix really does provide a global portfolio of over 100 colocation facilities that have attracted critical masses of leading companies across cloud, content providers, financial, network and enterprises.
To learn more about Equinix, watch this short video.