The technology giant Google announced on Wednesday the construction of Firmina, a new international submarine cable that will extend the internet network from the east coast of the United States to Las Toninas, Argentina, with extensions in Praia Grande, Brazil and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic further boosted the use of digital services by individuals and businesses. In this context, Firmina will contribute to “improve the connectivity of all users and companies that use Google products in South America”.
With 12 pairs of fiber optics, the cable will transport traffic quickly and securely between North and South America, giving users fast, low-latency access to Google products such as Search, Gmail, and YouTube. and Google Cloud services.
“The arrival of Firmina will boost Google’s infrastructure in the region, providing more resilience to the network and improving the experience of our users and customers. We are very happy to mark a new milestone in terms of connectivity, “said Cristian Ramos, Google’s Infrastructure Development Manager.
Argentina’s Secretary of Public Innovation, Micaela Sánchez Malcolm, said about Firmina’s arrival in the country: “The announcement and confirmation by Google of the construction of this submarine cable, which also has a woman’s name, It is very well received by the Argentine Government”.
And he added: “We celebrate the investment and commitment of international companies in terms of infrastructure, strengthening and increasing connectivity, not only in Argentina but also throughout the region ”.
Meanwhile, the US company confirmed that reconnaissance activities on the underwater bed will begin this year. “We estimate to finish the work so that the cable be ready in 2023“, they maintained.
A one-of-a-kind submarine cable
Firmina will be the first that, despite its long distance, is capable of fully operating on a single power source at one end, in case your other power sources are temporarily unavailable. It will be more than 12 thousand kilometers long.
In a submarine cable, data is carried by light within an optical fiber. At the same time, the cable must carry a high-voltage electrical current supplied by stations with ground connections at each end, feeding amplifiers on the seabed that increase the optical light at intervals of around 100 km.
In this way, Firmina will provide a network resilience boost in a context where reliability of connectivity is more important than ever.
For maximum resistance and fault protection, ideally the electrical source on the ground can power the entire length of the cable until normal operations are restored.
Traditionally, this was impossible to achieve in very long cables: as the number of optical fibers in each cable has increased in recent years, providing enough power has become an increasing design challenge. Firmina will be the first cable to break this barrier.
Google honors the Brazilian novelist
Like other cables from the internet giant that honor personalities from culture and science, Firmina was named after a pioneering intellectual who worked to promote human understanding and social justice.
Maria Firmina dos Reis (1825-1917), considered the first Brazilian novelist, was a Brazilian author and abolitionist whose 1859 novel, Úrsula, describes the life of Afro-Brazilians under slavery.
Google’s tribute to Firmina dos Reis on its 194 anniversary.
This is the second time that Google celebrates Firmina dos Reis. The first time he did it in 2019 for his 194th birthday through one of his characteristic doodles.
With the arrival of Firmina, Google already has 16 submarine cables of its own around the world. Firmina will join the other Google cables in the region: Curie (which connects Chile with the United States), Monet (Brazil – United States), Junior (which connects the cities of Praia Grande and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil) and Tannat ( Argentina – Uruguay – Brazil).