Google, Facebook to build LA-HK cable

Rob Powell/Telecom Ramblings
17 Oct 2016

The internet giants Google and Facebook apparently agree on at least one thing this month: that the world's infrastructure is in need of another trans-Pacific cable system. They are teaming up with privately held Pacific Light Data Communication and TE Subcom to build the Pacific Light Cable Network, or PLCN.

The new cable system will be a direct link between Los Angeles and Hong Kong. It will span some 12,800km between the two cities, potentially offering one of the lowest latencies available.

PLCN will also incorporate the latest optical technologies, which means the total theoretical capacity will be the largest transpacific route so far - up to 120Tbps in all. It is expected to be launched commercially in the summer of 2018.

It was just a few months or so since the that the FASTER cable, also backed by Google, came online between Japan and Oregon. The PLCN cable system will give them some diversity both by route and by landing station.

For Facebook, this is the most public position on a transpacific cable they have taken. But in the Atlantic they are part of the group building the Marea cable system between Bilbao and Virginia Beach.

TE Subcom will be doing the actual laying of the cable, of course. But I wonder who is behind the privately held PLDC over in Hong Kong.

This article was authored by Rob Powell and was originally posted on

Rob Powell is founder & editor of Telecom Ramblings, which was set up in 2008. The website is dedicated to discussing trends and developments in the telecom industry.

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