The new Firmina subsea cable from Google will connect North and South America.

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Google's new Firmina subsea cable will connect North and South America

Firmina will boost South American customers’ access to Google services.

Google is constructing a new underwater cable that will connect the United States’ East Coast to Las Toninas, Argentina, with branches in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. When finished, the Firmina cable will be the world’s longest wire capable of running wholly on a single power source at one end.

Bikash Koley, VP of global networking for Google Cloud, described this feature as a “resilience boost at a time when reliable connectivity is more important than ever.”

What’s the secret to Firmina’s single-ended power feeding feat? More juice. Koley said the cable will be supplied with 20 percent more voltage than previous cables.

Firmina will have 12 fibre pairs capable of safely transporting traffic between North and South America, enabling consumers to easily access Google products such as YouTube, Gmail, and search. SubCom is designing and manufacturing it at its headquarters in Newington, NH, with the primary lay installation scheduled for the summer of 2022. If all goes as planned, the cable should be operational by the end of 2023.

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Google named the cable after Maria Firmina dos Reis (1825 – 1917), a Brazilian abolitionist and author who some consider to be the country’s first novelist. “With this cable, we’re thrilled to draw attention to her pioneering work and spirit,” said Koley.

Image credit Vismar UK

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