Google has expanded a fiber optic cable running between the U.S. and Japan to make Gmail, YouTube, and its many other services run faster throughout Asia. The cable, which was developed to realize the six-member FASTER Consortium’s goal of improving the internet connections between Asian countries and Western tech companies, now runs all the way to Google’s biggest Asian data center in Taiwan.
Taiwan data center can now handle 26 terabits of data each second, Google says, allowing many of its customers throughout Asia to use the company’s services without having to deal with any frustrating sluggishness.
This is another example of Google’s desire to improve the internet — of which its services are an integral part — for people around the world. Another initiative called Project Loon promises to beam internet connections down to people in remote areas from a high-flying network of futuristic hot-air balloons.
But how fast is 26 terabits per second, really? In short: It’s really, really fast. Here’s how Google explains it:
Still, Google has plenty of competition in the worldwide-internet-expansion game. Facebook has developed a solar-powered drone that could also provide internet access to hard-to-reach areas, and it’s partnered with Microsoft to work on an underseas fiber optic cable that will offer a 160Tbps connection between Virginia Beach and Bilbao, Spain. That’s a lot of selfies.