Google partners with US and Australia to extend reach of undersea cables in Pacific

The project will enable faster and more reliable internet connectivity for over 100,000 people residing in the Pacific island nations, improving internet access, communication and information sharing with the rest of the world.

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Google, in collaboration with the governments of the United States and Australia, has finalised a joint agreement to extend the reach of undersea cables that provide internet access to several Pacific Ocean nations. This deal involves at least eight nations, namely Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The project represents an expansion of Google’s existing commercial initiative in the area, and the governments of Australia and the United States are playing significant roles in its implementation. Specifically, Australia has committed a substantial sum of $50 million, while Washington is contributing an additional $15 million to support the initiative.

The primary objective of this project is to enhance internet connectivity in the Pacific islands by deploying advanced undersea fiber-optic cables. Given the remote nature of these islands and their relatively limited access to modern communication infrastructure, this initiative is expected to significantly improve their connectivity to the global digital landscape.

In recent years, the Pacific islands have garnered heightened attention from major global players, including China and the United States, who have been actively pursuing infrastructure development and fostering strategic alliances with these nations. President Joe Biden, in particular, has emphasised the importance of US leadership in the telecommunications sector, recognising its critical role in national security due to its influence over global information dissemination.

As part of this comprehensive project, the United States has committed to collaborating with the participating countries on strengthening cybersecurity measures and ensuring the establishment of robust backup systems for crucial digital infrastructure. This holistic approach is designed to fortify the resilience of these nations in the face of potential cyber threats and disruptions to their communication networks.