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Google has announced the latest in a myriad of subsea cabling projects as the company doubles down on its cloud infrastructure investments.

The new project, known as Dunant, will span the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia Beach in the U.S. to the French Atlantic coast, according to a statement. The route is reminiscent of Microsoft and Facebook’s 4,000-mile transatlantic internet cable, Marea, which was completed last year, and which runs from Virginia Beach to Bilbao on Spain’s northern coast.

Google has now invested in 13 subsea cabling systems dating back a decade, but its latest effort represents only the second private investment the company has made. Indeed, earlier this year the company claimed its first entirely solo investment in a new cable connecting Los Angeles with Chile in South America. A few months later, Google added to its existing consortium-based projects when it invested in a 6,000-mile subsea cable system connecting Japan to Australia.

Joining the dots

Why is Google investing in underwater internet cables? Well, the company has also been plowing bucketloads of cash into its broader cloud business, which includes datacenters around the world. And to join the dots between its land-based infrastructures spread around the globe, it needs a far-reaching network of cables capable of transferring data between its servers with minimal latency.


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“Dunant adds network capacity across the Atlantic, supplementing one of the busiest routes on the internet, and supporting the growth of Google Cloud,” noted Google ‘strategic negotiator’ Jayne Stowell, in the announcement.

Many major internet companies are investing in subsea cable projects too — last year, SoftBank, Facebook, and Amazon teamed up for a 8,700-mile transpacific cable system, which is expected to launch in the next couple of years.

Google said that it expects Dunant to be complete by 2020, with another eight previously announced cables expected to go into operation around the world over the next 18 months.

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