Facebook and Google are set to work together to build an 8, 000 mile long undersea Internet cable which will connect the U.S. to Asia. The two tech behemoths will team with a China Soft Power Holdings subsidiary on the project.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates, of course, was an early investor and major stakeholder in Facebook.
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The plan is to connect Los Angeles and Hong Kong with a high-capacity internet cable. The Pacific Light Cable Network will be 8, 000 miles (12, 000 km) long and cross beneath the Pacific Ocean in what Google and Facebook are calling a “first-of-its-kind direct connection between the two locations.”
Wow! Google and Facebook working together. To some people that is a scary thought. First we had the “WinTel” default monopoly on personal computers between Microsoft and Intel. Facebook already owns both Instagram and Whatsapp, helping it to kill off slowly its social media competition like Twitter and services like Skype.
Google has cornered the market on web searches, on line mail, has the Android operating system, its own netbook computers and owns YouTube.
And you really don’t want to get computer people started on what they really think of Microsoft.
Now Google and Facebook are working together on a massive infrastructure project. Its kind of like in America when there was all that combination between entertainment and media companies. Just recently the cable company Comcast bought out NBC-Universal giving it control of both creating the content and the means with which to bring it to the consumer.
And Facebook has the obvious Windows connection in Bill Gates.
The companies declared that, “These underwater cables will help increase the total bandwidth available not just to the giants that build them, but for pretty much everyone else as well.”
Facebook vice president of network engineering Najam Ahmad stated, “As the number of people using Facebook apps and services continues to grow in the region, PLCN will help further connect Asia and our data centers in the US. This new direct route will give us more diversity and resiliency in the Pacific.”
“PLCN will be among the lowest-latency fiber optic routes between Hong Kong and the US and the first to connect directly using ultra-high-capacity transmission, ” PLDC chairman Wei Junkang said.
“It is certainly gratifying that global technology companies like Google and Facebook have become co-investors in PLCN.”
The interesting thing about the timing is that the world should be moving toward complete wireless connections. Satellites are already used for all communications so why not replace all land lines with satellite based Internet connections.
In any event it is nice to see the private sector getting behind such an initiative for new worldwide infrastructure.
So why exactly do people fear these kinds of corporate collaborations? Well for starters will Facebook and Google charge other companies for access to the new cables or even allow others access to it at all?
And many fear that someday we will be telling our disbelieving grandchildren that Facebookland was once called America, that there were once Internet companies other than Google and that the planet on which we live was once called The Earth and not Microsoft.