Equinix Gets on Board with FASTER Undersea Cable Connecting U.S. and Asia

Jim Poole

cable-network-undersea

No surprise – data traffic is surging globally.

This is a constant condition of the interconnected era, and it needs constant attention from network providers and the businesses that rely on them to keep data moving. Here’s just a glimpse of what’s ahead for the networks by the year 2019, from Cisco’s VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2014 – 2019:

  • More people online: There will be nearly 4 billion global Internet users, more than half the global population.
  • More devices to reach: The number of networked devices will increase to 24 billion, up from 14 billion in 2014.
  • More speed to enable: The average fixed broadband connection will increase 2.2-fold to 42.5 megabytes per second.
  • More video to carry: IP video will represent 80% of all traffic, up from 67% in 2014.

The need to create capacity to meet these changing conditions is one reason a six-company consortium – including Google and a group of East Asia telecom firms – has agreed to build a transpacific sub-sea cable system that will connect the U.S. West Coast to points in Japan. It’s also why Equinix is announcing its support for the system, called FASTER.

The FASTER system, which is scheduled to begin operating during the second quarter of 2016, will cover 5,600 miles and have peak capacity of 60 terabits per second. At that speed, you could transfer the entire contents of a 1 terabyte hard drive in less than 1/7 of a second.

The cable will be backhauled into Equinix data centers in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Seattle and connect on the other side of the Pacific to Chikura and Shima in Japan – then to local systems that will expand its capacity beyond Japan to other parts of Asia. The IDG News Service gives some details about what it will actually take to lay down thousands of miles of this slim, 2-centimeter wide cable:

  • A differential GPS system and a dynamic positioning system to make sure the cable is being laid within a few meters of the plotted route
  • A 32-ton plow that’s 10 meters long, five meters high, and towed behind a ship to clear a trench for the cable
  • A 9-ton remote-operated vehicle that has jets that push sediment over the cable to bury it

It’s a huge project that’s going to increase interconnection between North America and Asia, so we’re excited about it, and eager to support it however we can.

We know how essential networks are to business, and we know demands on them just keep increasing. To remain competitive, these networks are turning to data center providers like Equinix. We help them expand their infrastructures and directly connect with ecosystems of customers in network-centric industries – such as media and entertainment or financial services – that rely on Equinix’s network of 105 data centers worldwide.

Equinix also offers direct connectivity to cloud services through Equinix Cloud Exchange in both the Seattle and Silicon Valley data centers where the FASTER system will be making landfall. The dedicated, private connections offered by Equinix Cloud Exchange to cloud providers reduces network costs and provides higher, more consistent network performance than Internet-based connections.

Supporting FASTER is just part of our ongoing commitment to accelerate business performance by better connecting companies to their customers, employees and partners.

To learn more about what Equinix can do for networks, clink the link.