Google and Facebook lay thousands of miles of undersea cables to ferry internet around the

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Often, the two tech giants invest in cable projects along with a consortium of other companies, although Google has five privately owned cable projects underway.

The landing buoy for Google's Curie undersea cable.

The landing buoy for Google’s Curie undersea cable.

Google Cloud


In total, Google is invested in 19 cable projects around the world.

Facebook is invested in two cables that are currently active. It is involved in five more cable projects currently under construction, a spokesman said.

Cable laying vessel Ile de Bréhat off the coast of Australia.

Cable-laying vessel Ile de Bréhat off the coast of Australia.

Alcatel submarine networks


First, the companies have to plan the route they want the cable to take.

Google Strategic Negotiator for Global Infrastructure Jayne Stowell.

Jayne Stowell.

Google Cloud


Jayne Stowell, strategic negotiator for Global Infrastructure at Google, told Insider planning the route can take up to a year.

A Facebook spokesperson told Insider it conducts a bathymetric and geophysical survey along its expected route, which allows it to plan down to the meter.

Laying vessels Ile d'Aiz (in the foreground) and Ile de Batz (in the background).

Laying vessels Ile d’Aiz (in the foreground) and Ile de Batz (in the background).

Alcatel submarine networks


To do this, it sends out vessels equipped with sonar to map out the seabed and look for risks such as high currents, underwater landslides, and unexploded bombs or mines.

The cable itself is about the thickness of a garden hose, Stowell said.

A subsea internet cable is loaded onto a laying vessel.

A subsea internet cable is loaded onto a laying vessel.

Alcatel submarine networks


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