Saturday, 30 May 2020

Google gets US approval to activate subsea cable to Taiwan

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 09 April 20

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has approved Google’s request to light its subsea cable linking the US to Taiwan, so long as it does not activate the branch to Hong Kong

Facebook and Google were some of the lead participants in the consortium behind the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), a subsea cable which links Hong Kong with the US.   Planned in 2017…

Facebook and Google were some of the lead participants in the consortium behind the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), a subsea cable which links Hong Kong with the US.
 
Planned in 2017, the PLCN was scheduled to launch commercially in 2018, but ran into a blockade of legislative problems relating to security, due to part of the project being owned by Chinese company with links to the Chinese government. 
 
Now, the DoJ has approved the request Google made last month to activate its stretch of the 8,000 mile-long cable, which will link the US to Taiwan, while avoiding the leg connecting to Hong Kong.
 
Google has received a six-month authorisation to operate the cable, having agreed to a wide range of security requirements and other stipulations from the DoJ.
 
This news will surely come as a great relief to Google and fellow consortium member Facebook, though this seems far from a permanent solution. 
 
While “diversification of interconnection points in Asia” remains one of Google's stated goal, an active link between the US and China does not appear to be forthcoming, with the DoJ noting that such a connection would pose an “unacceptable risk” to national security. 
 
It seems the Hong Kong leg of the PLCN will remain inactive for the near future.
 
 
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