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Google finances optical fiber cable from California to Chile

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – Google recently funded the construction of a 10,000 km submarine cable linking California to Chile. Since wrapping up on April 23, this is the latest development from the multinational tech company’s US$47 billion budget to bolster cloud computing infrastructure.

In Summary

Dubbed as project “Curie,” the massive optical fiber pipeline links the Equinix LA4 data center in Los Angeles to the Chilean port city of Valparaiso. From there, it will connect to Google’s data center in Quilicura near Santiago. The campus is currently seeing a US$140 million renovation.

Google collaborated with SubCom to facilitate this data transportation project. Following suit, this is now one of 13 optical fiber cables that Google has installed across the world. According to reports, there’s potential to connect the same cable to Panama for a future extension project. Similar efforts in Asia are also in the works.

In-Depth

From the looks of it, Google continues to invest millions in improving technological infrastructure. However, this is the first type of project primarily funded by a major non-telecom tech company.

“Curie makes us the first tech company that, without being a specialist in telecommunications, invests in the development of infrastructure of this 100 percent private type,” said Jayne Stowell, a strategic negotiator for Google’s global infrastructure efforts.

Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt, said that this project will also “provide advantages and opportunities for millions of Internet users” in her country. Along those lines, Chile may be one step closer to creating a cloud-based astronomical observatory in collaboration with Amazon.

Conclusion

Considering that Chile is home to 70 percent of global astronomy investments, I imagine that this new technology will enlarge these numbers even further. The better the digital infrastructure, the more data the country can generate and store.

Officials appear to be networking with various partners to achieve this. Besides Google and Amazon, the country has permitted Chinese enterprise Huawei to build a 2,800 km cable to improve connectivity from north to south. If everything goes accordingly, Chile may connect to China with a 24,000 km cable before we know it.

Needless to say, Chile was recently acknowledged as Latin America’s top tech hub.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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