Bilbao and New York have been linked by a direct fiber optic line this Thursday. It is owned by Google and with it the multinational company hopes to increase the reliability, speed and power of its services on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as “improve the general European telecommunications infrastructure”. The new connection covers more than 6,500 kilometers and will have a fork anchored to Cornwall, on the British coast, to be completed by the end of 2021.
The digital industry that now wants to come to Spain: “Things look better than in the previous 20 years”
Submarine cables are a basic infrastructure for today’s Internet, a fiber mesh that reaches all corners of the world. 98% of the network traffic circulates through them. Google’s new cable is named after Grace Hopper, a pioneering mathematician in computer science and considered one of the first hackers in history. It is the fifth financed by the company after Equiano (between Portugal and South Africa), Dunant (from the US to France), Curie (from the US to Chile) and Firmina (between the US and Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay).
After a first generation of cables destined to connect the US with the center of the world, currently a new stage of investments seeks to create new connection nodes in areas previously considered peripheral. The Iberian Peninsula is one of the areas that attracts the greatest interest for technology companies due to its strategic position between Latin America, Europe and Africa. In 2021, one of the most important connections in this sense has been completed with the construction of the EllaLink cable, between Lisbon and Fortaleza, in Brazil.
The new investment phase also includes the renewed interest in building data centers that manage the information carried over the cables. Google itself, Microsoft and Amazon have announced amounts of disbursements to establish their regional connection poles in Spain, which are joined by companies that manage independent data centers (whose business is based on building them and leasing their capacity to other companies). The data center industry assures that its investments could generate up to 35,000 million euros for the Spanish GDP.
The Grace Hopper uses a new “fiber switching” technology, which “routes the flow of data more efficiently to avoid slowdowns and outages,” Google explained. “In a post-pandemic world that is heading towards a new digital normality, investing in submarine cables allows us to plan and prepare for the future coverage needs of our clients, wherever they are,” said the multinational.