FASTER Submarine Fiber-Optic Cable Partnership

Increasing demand for Internet services demands investment in Internet infrastructure. So the FASTER consortium, consisting of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and Singtel, together invested approximately $300m in this Trans-Pacific fiber-optic cable project.

Key members of the FASTER consortium had worked together previously on the Unity and SJC cables, and teamed up again for the 9,000-km FASTER system, which links Oregon in the United States and two landing points in Japan. The system has extended connections to major hubs on the West Coast of the US covering Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. The two landing points in Japan facilitate the cable’s easy access to major cities in Japan. FASTER’s robust and resilient connectivity to many neighbouring cable systems extend the cable’s capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations.

FASTER was the first trans-Pacific submarine cable system designed to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth using a six-fibre pair cable across the Pacific. The cable was constructed by NEC on behalf of the consortium, and went into service in mid-2016.

“From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER’, and at one point it became the project name and today it becomes a reality. This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support” said Mr Hiromitsu Todokoro, Head of Cable Planning of KDDI, and Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee.

Mrs Linette Lee, Director of Submarine Cable Investments at Singtel said “The completion of the FASTER cable system will provide capacity to support the expected four-fold increase in broadband traffic demand between Asia and North America.”

“With a state-of-the-art design, the cable system provides continuous connectivity and sufficiently high capacity for cloud, video streaming, analytics and the Internet of Things, that will help spur innovation on both sides of the Pacific to stimulate the growth of the digital economy,” she added.

Following several successful submarine cable partnerships, as the demand for Internet services continues to blossom, Google is always interested in working together with telecoms operators to build new network capacity across the globe.