Uruguay OKs Google’s Firmina Cable
By Vaughan O'Grady, Developing Telecoms
January 3, 2023
Uruguay has approved the installation of Google's fibre optic submarine cable Firmina, removing another hurdle to the rollout of the longest cable ever with single-ended power supply capability.
Announced in June 2021 Firmina is an open subsea cable that will run from the East Coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina, with additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. It is some 13,500 kilometres long. Last August, the infrastructure received authorization from the Argentine government. Through a resolution published late last year the Uruguayan government has now also approved the cable.
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. This is described by Google as a resilience boost at a time when reliable connectivity is more important than ever.
With 12 fibre pairs, the cable will carry traffic quickly and securely between North and South America, giving users fast, low-latency access to Google products like search, Gmail and YouTube, as well as to Google Cloud services. The new cable is expected to be operational in 2023.
The name of the cable is a tribute to Maria Firmina dos Reis, a Brazilian author and abolitionist.
Google’s other submarine power lines in the region including Curie (Chile-United States), Monet (Brazil-United States), Junior (Brazilian cities) and Tannat (Argentina-Uruguay-Brazil).