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When you’re a company as large as @Google, you need to make build versus buy decisions every day, whether that’s buying a company or building the software or renting time on an undersea cable or building your own. Today, the company announced that it’s decided to build another undersea cable. This one will run from Japan to Guam and from Guam to Australia. That’s a lot of territory, approximately 9,500 KM or almost 6000 miles, and it’s a major undertaking. The company doesn’t take a project of this scope lightly, but they felt that it was in their best interest from an economic and technical perspective. The cable has been dubbed JGA and will connect up with the existing Hong Kong-Singapore-Australia cable to build a ring that covers the Asia-Pacific region.
“JGA is being co-built by NEC Corporation and Alcatel Submarine Networks. The JGA-South segment is being developed by a consortium of AARnet, Google, and RTI-C, while the JGA-North segment is a private cable being developed by RTI-C,” according to a blog post on the published on the project today.
The decision to build the cable came down to an economic decision related to the sheer scale of Google usage, says Vijay Vusirikala, principal engineer at Google, whose specialty involves undersea cables. It becomes much more cost-effective to build their own cables than it does to rent time on somebody else’s when you reach a certain usage level. “This is essentially building infrastructure at scale and with scale getting the optimization benefits,” Vusirikala explained.

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