Google adds two more subsea cables to Pacific Islands collection

Google adds two more subsea cables to its Pacific Islands collection

Google announced yet another Pacific subsea cable project on Thursday – this one in collaboration with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), APTelecom, and Telstra – to roll out two new intra-Pacific cables connecting Guam, Fiji and French Polynesia.

According to a blog post from Brian Quigley, VP of global network infrastructure at Google Cloud, the central Pacific Connect initiative comprises the Bulikula cable, which will connect Guam with Fiji, and the Halaihai cable, which will link Guam and French Polynesia.

The idea is to create a ring between Guam, French Polynesia and Fiji with branching units that will allow other countries and territories of Oceania to connect to the ring in the future. Google is planning for both cables to be ready for service in 2026.

The central Pacific Connect initiative builds on Google’s other subsea cable projects in the Pacific region, particularly the South Pacific Connect initiative announced in October, in which the planned Honomoana and Tabua subsea cables will form a ring between Fiji, French Polynesia and Australia.

Last week, Google announced it had joined the Humboldt Cable project connecting Chile, French Polynesia and Australia, which will interconnect with the Honomoana and Tabua cables.

Quigley added that the central Pacific Connect initiative will boost Guam’s status as a connectivity hub in the Pacific.

“Once operational, Bulikula and Halaihai will join Guam’s existing subsea cable portfolio — which includes Apricot, Echo, and Taiwan-Philippines-US – accelerating the island’s position as a growing gateway for international connectivity,” he said.

“Our economic futures are all dependent on digital technology,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero in a statement. “Beyond bridging the digital divide in our local community, this is Guam’s contribution – enabling new digital infrastructure such as subsea cables – to create and support connectivity between the northern and southern Pacific islands.”

Ivan Fong, CEO of ATH, said the Bulikula and Halaihai cables “will enable fundamental changes to internet access for our operators in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and Vanuatu. Additionally it will allow us to offer trunk access to all of the Pacific Islands.”

In a separate statement, Telstra International CEO Roary Stasko said that Telstra will own and operate a fibre pair on the core trunk on the Bulikula cable. “These branches will power access to vital digital services across the region and will improve network performance, redundancy and reliability.”

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