Google Cloud Platform (GCP) wants to install a private transatlantic cable connecting Virginia Beach in the US with France.

The system will be named after Henri Dunant, who received the world’s first Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the launch of the International Red Cross Movement, and for instigating the First Geneva Convention of 1864.

TE SubCom will design, manufacture and install Dunant on Google’s behalf. To date, the submarine communications specialist has deployed more than 100 cable systems - that’s enough cabling to circle the equator 15 times, according to the information available on its website.

My cable, my rules

Dunant – GCP

On the US side, Google Cloud’s terrestrial fiber optic cable will connect to a local point of presence (PoP) before reaching the company’s Northern Virginia region. On the European side, it will lead directly to GCP’s region in Belgium.

The world’s third most popular public cloud provider has been investing in submarine cables since 2010, participating in major projects such as Havfrue, HK-G and JGA-S.

Including Dunant, the company will have a stake in 13 such systems, but only four of them are private: Alpha, Beta - both of which are relatively short cables - Curie, and Dunant.

Curie - named after Marie Curie, the famous Franco-Polish physicist and first female Nobel Prize winner – will connect Chile to Los Angeles, California. It is the first private intercontinental cable to be built by a non-telecom company.

For any cloud provider, private submarine cables mean improved connectivity, reduced latency and the appropriate bandwidth to match their cloud customers’ needs, whereas investing in projects led by several parties naturally means having to make compromises.

Google is likely to continue investing in multi-party projects, but it also seems to have plans to build more private cables: in its announcement, the company declared that it would continue naming them according to the same thematic as Curie and Dunant.


Google's submarine cable network
Google’s submarine cable network – GCP

In other GCP news, the company launched a cloud region in Los Angeles, its fourth to come online this year, after Montréal, the Netherlands and Finland.

And on Tuesday, GCP suffered an outage which brought down Spotify, Snapchat and countless others. Google App Engine, Cloud Networking and Stackdriver were among the platform components affected for an hour and a half between 12:25PM and 1:05PM PST.

Once services had been brought back online, the company issued a status update declaring that it would launch an internal investigation to investigate the issues “and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence.”