Google is set to build a new subsea cable connecting Chile with Australia, via French Polynesia — the first such cable to directly connect South America with Asia-Pacific.
Dubbed “Humboldt,” after German polymath and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, the new cable is the latest in more than a dozen similar subsea cables that Google has invested in over the past 15 years, a journey that kicked off in 2010 with Unity that stretched some 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from California to Japan.
While countless other submarine cables traverse the Pacific Ocean, they substantively connect Asia with North America, though some do snake down the Pacific coast from the U.S and Mexico to various landing points in the South of the continent. Indeed, Google completed its first entirely private cable project four years ago with Curie, connecting California with Chile.
Google hasn’t given any indication as to when Humboldt will be complete, but rather than going it alone as it has done with other recent cable projects, the internet giant is partnering with Chile’s Desarrollo País and Office des postes et télécommunications de Polynésie française (OPT) to lay the 9,200 mile (14,800 KM) cable.
As with its other similar endeavors, Humboldt is designed to improve data transfers around the world, working in tandem with Google’s other infrastructure projects, including local data centers on the ground in Chile — it’s all about promising its customers lower-latency, while the countries themselves benefit from a more robust internet infrastructure.
Tech companies including Meta, Microsoft and Amazon have also invested in various internet infrastructure programs, and alongside Google the quartet are said to either own or lease around half of all subsea cabling bandwidth.