An undersea cable nearly 8,000 miles long will link Hong Kong and Los Angeles by 2018, carrying data from Facebook, Google, and others at 120 terabits per second.
That will make it the new highest-capacity trans-Pacific route, Google says, a record currently held by another Google-backed cable system that links Japan and the US.
TE Connectivity, one of several contractors that will help build the cable, said in a news release that the cable's speed increase is thanks to the addition of a new wavelength for fiber optic transmission. Current cables mostly send data on the "C" band, which is a radio frequency from 4 to 8 GHz, but the new cable will also use the "L" band, from 1 to 2 Ghz.
"[The cable] will be among the lowest-latency fiber optic routes between Hong Kong and the U.S. and the first to connect directly using ultra-high-capacity transmission," Wei Junkang, chairman of the Hong-Kong based Pacific Light Data Communication Company, said in a statement.
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Facebook, which along with Google is one of the principal investors in the project and will be one of its heaviest users, noted that the cable could provide even more bandwidth in the future. Because each of the partners can use their own transmission technology, they will be able to upgrade the cable's capacity as faster options become available.
"This means equipment refreshes can occur as optical technology improves, including taking advantage of advances made during the construction of the system," according to a Facebook blog post. "When equipment can be replaced by better technology at a quicker pace, costs should go down and bandwidth rates should increase more quickly."
The cable is mainly intended to link massive data centers. Whether or not Google and Facebook users will see a difference at home or in the office depends largely on the speed of their Internet service provider. Many Asian countries, including Korea and Singapore, have some of the fastest Internet speeds in the world, so the cable could offer them a markedly improved experience.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.