back to article How Bude: Google's sole-financed private undersea pipe to make a landing in Cornwall

Cloud and ads behemoth Google is building a subsea internet cable linking the US to the UK and Spain. The cable, which it named for compsci pioneer and mother of COBOL Grace Hopper, aims to provide better internet reliability and recovery from outages, the $1trn Alphabet giant said. Google has already made investments in …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    This could be the thin edge of the wedge leading to a rather nasty walled Internet

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      The major infrastructure difference between Google and other cloud providers is that Google have their own dark fibre linking their DC's meaning that they generally have more available bandwidth between DC's.

      It also gives them more independence from third parties that may choose to impose walls. Unless your concern is Google placing walls around themselves at which point I suspect they might show how unwise that path is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm

        I suspect the prime problem is that Google has already demonstrated to have a data fetish and no law or reason is capable of preventing it from getting its grubby fingers on whatever flows through that cable. Couple that with being a US outfit and sharing that fetish with the NSA, and the challenge is clear..

    2. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Hardly. How is the existence of their fast pipe going to stop you from using other services? This is more like an airline buying a refinery...

      This just allows more/faster connectivity between Google's various data centers. It will be a real advantage for them only when Europeans want to download something from Google's US servers, or vise versa.

      The only ones who should be alarmed are cloud service providers with an international reach. Transferring files to/from US based Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc, users may be slower to Europe than Google Drive/Google Cloud. As Google isn't the biggest player in those markets, and this doesn't provide a drastic advantage, I don't see any cause for panic.

    3. Giles C Bronze badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Not sure what you are suggesting here.

      There are thousands or dark fibre comms links between private companies data centres.

      I have put in private links for companies before.

      If you want the best service for your company a private link is the way to go. It is just that most companies don’t run dedicated cables across an ocean due to cost.

  2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

    Bude's quite close to the GCHQ outpost at Morwenstow:

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

      There are multiple cables that land at Widemouth bay, so nothing new.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

        I worked on TAT8 and live not too far from there and frequently walk the dog on the beach - I have now found the location of the cable landing house and will be getting arrested soon for having a nostalgic peek.

    2. osakajin Bronze badge

      Re: Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

      Yup... Everything run straight through there first. Won't be needing the golf balls soon.

    3. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

      ...and for the NSA no doubt.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suspiciously convenient for GCHQ

      This is probably why they're laying a cable with three ends. Do the switching in international waters and only send their data to the UK if they really have to..

  3. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge


    Quite annoyed at being co-opted by the Chocolate Factory.

  4. rcxb Silver badge


    Taking a look at the map it seems Greenland's population of 56,000 is entirely reliant on one link in and out, while Guam's population of 168,000 will still be browsing the web for funny cat pictures through World War III. Perhaps not an accident, as 29% of Guam is a US military base.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Greenland

      To be fair, Greenland is very well situated for links between Russia and Canada, and not much else. Not a lot of traffic between those two, last time I checked.

      On the other hand, Guam is pretty much in the middle of a bigish chunk of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and thus is well situated to handle a large percentage of the world's Internet traffic.

      On the gripping hand, follow the money ...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the more data for Google to slurp

    behind our backs.

    They really are looking more and more like Big Brother with every passing day.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: All the more data for Google to slurp

      It's a private cable between google data centres - what "more data" could they look at that they couldn't already?

  6. xyz

    When they say...

    "Although largely a result of increasing demand for internet services,"

    ... I think they mean...

    "Although largely a result of increasing demand for stuffing more ads down it."

    Oh for those heady *do no evil" days.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: When they say...

      Don't tell me you fell for the "do no evil" line ...

  7. Doogie Howser MD

    Missed opportunity

    Should have called the cable "Vince".

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