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Google’s new Firmina subsea cable will connect North and South America

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What just happened? Google is building a new subsea cable that will link the East Coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina, with branches in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. Once complete, the Firmina cable will be the longest in the world that is capable of running entirely from a single power source at one end of the cable.

Bikash Koley, VP of global networking for Google Cloud, described this feature as a “resilience boost at a time when reliable connectivity is more important than ever.”

What’s the secret to Firmina’s single-ended power feeding feat? More juice. Koley said the cable will be supplied with 20 percent more voltage than previous cables.

Firmina will feature 12 fiber pairs capable of securely carrying traffic between North and South America, allowing users to quickly access various Google products like YouTube, Gmail and search. It is being designed and manufactured by SubCom at its campus in Newington, NH, with the main lay installation expected to take place in the summer of 2022. Should everything go according to plan, the cable should be ready for service by the end of 2023.

Google named the cable after Maria Firmina dos Reis (1825 – 1917), a Brazilian abolitionist and author who some consider to be the country’s first novelist. “With this cable, we’re thrilled to draw attention to her pioneering work and spirit,” said Koley.

Image credit Vismar UK

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