Google Announces US$400 Million Humboldt Project: Laying a New Undersea Cable from Australia to Chile

January 16, 2024 – Google has recently announced its ambitious Humboldt project, a US$400 million (approximately 2.872 billion Chinese yuan) initiative to lay a new undersea cable across the Pacific Ocean, establishing an internet route spanning from Australia to Chile.

The tech giant is leading this endeavor in collaboration with the Chilean Infrastructure Fund Desarrollo País, the French Polynesian Post and Telecommunications Office (OPT), and other partners. Together, they plan to construct a cable that will traverse 14,800 kilometers of the Pacific seabed.

Google has emphasized that the Humboldt project marks the first direct fiber-optic cable connection between South America and the Asia-Pacific region. This new cable will complement existing investments in digital infrastructure in Chile and throughout Latin America, further solidifying the company’s commitment to the region.

According to Google’s official description, the completion of the Humboldt project will provide existing telecommunication networks with greater geographical diversity, new levels of resilience, and redundancy.

The new undersea cable is expected to increase network capacity, improve latency, and play a pivotal role in managing the explosive growth of traffic generated by new communication technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Google has also highlighted how undersea cables can significantly contribute to economic growth, both in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation. The company added that businesses and public organizations could deliver and enjoy better digital experiences, while individuals can acquire skills and knowledge, paving the way for new career paths.

Analysts from Analysys Mason have estimated that Google’s previous undersea cable deployments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will cumulatively contribute to a US$178 billion increase in GDP between 2017 and 2027, and create approximately 740,000 new jobs by 2027. With the Humboldt project, similar impacts are anticipated on an even larger scale.

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