Google to lay 620 mi. of marine cable to Panama, to be operational in 1 year
According to available information, the Curie cable is the property of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, and extends for some 10,000 km (6,200 mi.) from California to Valparaiso, Chile. EFE-EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga/File
Panama City, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Google announced on Thursday that it will lay a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) stretch of undersea fiber-optic cable to Panama, a project that will cost "several million dollars" that, the Panamanian government added, will reduce the cost of Internet service in that country and consolidate it as a digital hub.
"This cable is part of an inter-American cable we have built ... It's a way to make Panama a part of this ecosystem that we're building, a global network in which Google (has been) investing more than $47 billion over the past two years," said the head of Google's infrastructure partnerships division, Cristian Ramos.
Ramos made the announcement at a press conference together with Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, who called the Google project "positive news" because it is part of his government's efforts to raise the country's competitiveness and combat inequality and poverty.
The tech giant executive sidestepped providing any cost figure for the project because of "confidentiality agreements" with the companies with which it will work to build the submarine cable, saying only that it will be a "significant" investment totaling "several million dollars."
He said that the parties are already working on charting the "Curie" cable's route with an eye toward entering the cable-laying phase, noting that estimates are that it will be operational within one year.
According to available information, the Curie cable is the property of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, and extends for some 10,000 km (6,200 mi.) from California to Valparaiso, Chile.
Ramos said that Panama was chosen as a connection site because of its "strategic geographic location," the fact that it possesses "facilities and conditions such that the cable can be seated satisfactorily and on time," as well as the "proper regulatory framework" for this type of project.
Among the benefits that the project will bring to Panama, Ramos mentioned "better connectivity, wider bandwidth and cost reduction, all factors that contribute to economic development and that will facilitate the implementation of digitalization plans" in the Central American country.
The Panamanian is already saying that the cable will mean a "savings of up to 38 percent in (Internet service) costs" and that it will be pushing an "ambitious" plan to have 100 percent of the country's population enjoying Internet access by 2024.