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Google selects South Carolina for undersea fiber project

Staff //January 5, 2022//

Google selects South Carolina for undersea fiber project

Staff //January 5, 2022//

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Google has its eye on South Carolina.

In seeking an East Coast site to launch an underwater cable that will stretch from North to South America, Google selected the Grand Strand as the ideal location. The cable, dubbed the “Firmina” venture, will run thousands of miles along the Atlantic seafloor from The Palmetto State to Toninas, Argentina.

“Firmina will be the longest cable in the world capable of running entirely from a single power source at one end of the cable if its other power sources become temporarily unavailable — a resilience boost at a time when reliable connectivity is more important than ever,” Google said in a news release.

The record-length cable will be accomplished by using a voltage that is 20% higher than with previous systems, Google said.

With 12 fiber pairs, Firmina is expected to improve access to Google services for users in South America, carrying traffic swiftly and securely between North America and South America. Data will be relayed from Google’s U.S. data centers in Moncks Corner to the neighboring continent.

Users in the South America will have low-latency access to Google services, including Search, Gmail, YouTube and Google Cloud.

“Single-end power source capability is important for reliability, a key priority for Google’s network. With submarine cables, data travels as pulses of light inside the cable’s optical fibers. That light signal is amplified every 100 kilometers with a high-voltage electrical current supplied at landing stations in each country,” Google said.

The internet search company selected the name Firmina after Maria Firmina dos Reis, a Brazilian abolitionist and author who died in 1917. She was considered Brazil’s first novelist, and Google said the cable will draw attention to her “pioneering work and spirit.”

With Firmina, Google has a total investment in 16 undersea cables as it aims to build out a global network and infrastructure.

Construction is expected to take place this year at Myrtle Beach State Park