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Google announces plan for undersea cable connecting Israel, southern Europe

System will tie Israel to France, Italy, Greece with 16 fiber optic pairs; second project will connect other Middle East countries with India

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

A woman walks below a Google sign on the campus in Mountain View, California, Sept. 24, 2019.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
A woman walks below a Google sign on the campus in Mountain View, California, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Google has announced plans to build and operate two submarine cable systems to connect the Middle East with southern Europe and Asia.

One of the projects, the Blue Submarine Cable System, will tie Israel to Italy, France and Greece.

The other, called the Raman Submarine Cable System, will connect Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman and India.

The cables will each carry 16 fiber optic pairs that will increase network capacity and decrease latency, Google said in a Thursday statement.

The company expects the cables to be ready for use in 2024.

Portions of the cables will connect on land in Israel with the help of the Bezeq internet provider, according to the Calcalist business daily.

Google Cloud will collaborate on the project with Italian telecom company Sparkle.

The planned project was first reported last year but had not been confirmed by Google. Several media reports put the cost of the project at around $400 million.

The Raman cable is named for Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, who won the 1930 Nobel Prize in physics for work that eventually became a foundation for the technology used in the cables.

Google operates undersea cables with connections on every continent except Antarctica.

The search engine’s parent company Alphabet Inc. competes with other tech giants to build more powerful networks to support growing global internet demand and make Google more competitive as a cloud-based service provider.

In June, Google announced Firmina, an undersea cable connecting the US East Coast to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

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