Google’s TPU Subsea Cable Revealed Amid U.S.-China Tensions
By Jonathan Kim, Dgtl Infra
May 16, 2023
Google’s wholly-owned subsidiary, GU Holdings Inc., has applied for a license to construct, land, and operate the TPU subsea cable system. This 8,370-mile (13,470-kilometer) private fiber-optic network will connect Eureka, California in the United States with Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam. Construction is set to commence in March 2024, with the system expected to be operational by May 2025.
The TPU subsea cable system, which Google plans to operate on a non-common-carrier basis, is designed to meet the growing demand for capacity between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region. To achieve this, the cable will add a total design capacity of approximately 260 terabits per second (Tbps) across its trans-Pacific route.
Google’s TPU subsea cable system, designed to connect the United States with Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam, could play a pivotal role amidst rising geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. Each landing point, strategically placed within a region of escalating conflict, stands to ensure continuous connectivity and coordination, potentially securing American interests in the face of potential Chinese aggression over Taiwan.
TPU Subsea Cable – An Overview
The TPU system, Google’s new subsea cable, is a private fiber-optic submarine cable network named after its three landing countries – Taiwan (T), Philippines (P), and United States (U). Google has applied for a license to land and operate this cable, with construction (cable laying) set to begin in March 2024 and a target ready-for-service date (RFS) set for May 2025.
As a non-common-carrier system, the TPU subsea cable capacity will support Google’s own internal bandwidth needs and services. Google may also make available bulk capacity to wholesale and enterprise customers under terms negotiated on a case-by-case basis through indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) and capacity leases.
Geographical Reach of the Cable
The TPU subsea cable will connect Eureka, California in the United States to Dawu, Taiwan; Claveria, the Philippines; and Tanguisson, Guam.