Google Investing $1 Billion in Digital Connectivity to Japan

Google's $1B investment for Japan's digital link introduces Proa, Taihei cables under Pacific Connect, enhancing Pacific infrastructure.By Brian Quigley, Google
April 10, 2024

Today, we're announcing a $1 billion investment in digital connectivity to Japan, which includes the expansion of the Pacific Connect initiative and delivers two new subsea cables, Proa and Taihei. In collaboration with several partners — including KDDI, ARTERIA, Citadel Pacific, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) — these cables will create new fiber-optic routes between the continental U.S. and Japan in support of Google’s Japan Digitization Initiative, while improving the reliability and resilience of digital connectivity between the U.S., Japan, and multiple Pacific Island countries and territories.

The Proa subsea cable from NEC will connect Japan, the CNMI, and Guam and is named after the traditional sailing canoes of the Marianas. To further increase reliability in the region, the NEC cable system Taiwan-Philippines-U.S. (known as TPU) will be extended to the CNMI. As the CNMI’s first international subsea cables, Proa and TPU will together establish a new route between the continental U.S. and Shima, Japan.

Taihei, the Japanese word for both “peace” and “Pacific Ocean,” is another NEC cable that will connect Japan to Hawaii. Additionally, Tabua will be extended to Hawaii, building on the plans announced last year to run the cable from the continental U.S. to Fiji and Australia. Once complete, the Taihei and Tabua systems will create a diverse path between the continental U.S. to Takahagi, Japan.

Google will also fund the construction of an interlink cable connecting Hawaii, the CNMI, and Guam. This interlink will connect the transpacific routes, improving their reliability and reducing latency for users in the Pacific Islands and around the world.

“We are deeply honored to have the privilege of naming the cable ‘Proa' and participating in the unveiling of this transformative network set to revolutionize connectivity in the CNMI. The name ‘Proa', drawing inspiration from our traditional sailing canoes, encapsulates the essence of connectivity and cultural heritage. It signifies the collaborative journey this project embodies, reflecting resilience and progress as we collectively move towards a future brimming with opportunities and prosperity for our islands. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Google for their steadfast dedication to including the CNMI in the Pacific Connect Initiative, perfectly aligning with our vision for a more connected, resilient, and technologically advanced Pacific region.” – Arnold I. Palacios, Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 

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