Google today announced its plans to build a new subsea cable that will connect the East Coast of the U.S. and Las Toninas, Argentina with additional landings in Brazil and Uruguay. The idea here is to provide users in South America with improved low-latency access to Google’s portfolio of consumer and cloud services. The cable will be designed and installed by SubCom and should be ready for service by the end of 2023.
The Firmina cable, named after Brazilian abolitionist and author Maria Firmina dos Reis, will augment Google’s existing cable investments in the region. The Tannat cable, a joint venture between Antel Uruguay and Google, for example, already connects the same locations, while the Monet cable connects the U.S. and Brazil, where Google’s Junior cable already connects various parts of the country.
It’s easy to forget this when we mostly talk about wireless connectivity and satellites, but undersea cables remain the most crucial way to spread network connectivity around the world. Google says the Firmina cable will have 12 fiber pairs, which should both speed up network traffic and lower the latency to Google services like Search and Gmail (of course). The cable is named after Maria Firmina dos Reis, a Brazilian abolitionist and novelist who explored the lives of Afro-Brazilian slaves in her 1859 novel Úrsula.