Google is running a private cable underneath the Atlantic Ocean to speed up its infrastructure

  • Google is building its own private subsea cable — named Dunant — between the U.S. and France, which will boost the span and reach of Google Cloud.
  • The company expects the cable to be up and running by 2020.
  • This won't be Google's first privately-owned cable. The company is also building Curie, which will connect Los Angeles and Chile.

Google is going under the sea so its cloud infrastructure can better take on rivals Amazon and Microsoft.

The search engine giant announced on Tuesday that it is building its own private underwater cable between the U.S. and France. The cable will be named Dunant, after Henry Dunant, the founder of the Nobel Peace Prize, who was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Google expects Dunant will be functional in 2020.

"Dunant adds network capacity across the Atlantic, supplementing one of the busiest routes on the internet, and supporting the growth of Google Cloud," Jayne Stowell, strategic negotiator of global infrastructure at Google, wrote in a blog post.

Underwater cables are typically built and maintained by consortiums of companies. For example, Google and Facebook teamed up in 2016 for an 8,000 mile long cable project bridging Los Angeles and Hong Kong.  

This time, though, this cable belongs to Google, and Google alone. Indeed, Dunant will be the first trans-Atlantic cable solely owned by a non-telecom company.

This means that Google has more control over capacity and the route of the cable, giving it an infrastructural edge over competitors like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services who rely on consortium cables to help their data bridge the Atlantic Ocean. 

While Dunant is Google's first cable spanning that particular ocean, it's the search giant's second privately-owned cable overall. The first, named Curie, will be up and running in 2019, connecting Los Angeles and Chile. 

Google subsea cables

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