Private undersea cable ventures validate network growth trends

Liquid Telecom

Google may invest in a multi-million-dollar undersea cable across the Pacific Ocean that will help handle increasing amounts of undersea traffic being sent across private networks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Despite arguments about Net neutrality, privately owned undersea cables, for example, give the companies that own it more control over traffic prioritization long before it reaches consumers.

Google’s potential move makes sense in terms of a recent TeleGeography Global Bandwidth Research Service report, which found that while international backbone operators are still the primary users of international bandwidth, the bandwidth needs of large content providers like Google, Microsoft and Facebook can exceed the needs of the biggest global carriers.

Google would reportedly use part of the undersea cable to connect some of its data centers in the U.S. with Japan. Google invested in a similar subsea venture completed in 2010.

Overall, the demand for international bandwidth grew 39% in 2013 to 183 terabits (Tbps), up from a mere 30 Tbps in 2009. Private network bandwidth grew at a faster rate between 2009 and 2013 than international Internet bandwidth and private networks accounted for 25% of international bandwidth in 2013, an increase from 2009’s 20%.

Private tech companies — the really big ones — are showing telecom providers that they can sink their own cash into building out networks and have the advantage of managing their own data the way they want to, before consumers get it via the Internet.

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