Google: Sharks Are Biting Our Undersea Cables

Google has a big problem and this time, it involves sharks. The search giant’s fiber optic cable lines in the Pacific Ocean are being ravished by great white sharks and now the company is forced to do a massive repair project.

Google to fix fiber-optic problem

The miles of cables were designed to bring internet speeds as fast as a single gigabyte per second in several different countries. Just last week, Google announced plans to reinforce the cables with Kevlar-like material to protect them.

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The reason sharks are eating the cables is because the electricity attracts the animals to the cables as they may mistake it for prey. The new casing will decrease the electric pulses. It has been known for a long time that cables tend to attract the large sea creatures. Shark teeth have even been found inside cables as far back as 1985, when the teeth were found inside an experimental fibre optic cable right off the coast of Canary Islands. Two years later, sharks were blamed for four cable failures affecting the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Google plans to expand faster fiber-optic cables

Google also plans to invest in a faster fiber-optic network across the Pacific and it is not the only company that is making the investment. Five companies from East Asia including China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA) (HKG:0728), Singapore-based SingTel, China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941), Malaysia-based Global Transit, and Japan-based KDDI Corp (TYO:9433) (OTCMKTS:KDDIF) will all invest in a project that begins service in 2016.

It is reported the cable system, which is aptly called FASTER, will be supplied by a Japanese vendor. The system was also designed to deliver fast speeds of up to 60 terabytes a second, a speed that is roughly ten million times faster than cable modems. The FASTER cable system is also noted to have the biggest design capacity ever built across the Trans-Pacific route.