Google-Facebook undersea cable to China cut short by US

FCC has raised concerns over the Dr Penf Group in China and its links to the government's security services

Plans for an underwater data cable between LA and Hong Kong have been scrapped after the US government suggested that China could use it to steal data.

The project is run by the Pacific Light Data Company and includes tech firms like Google and Facebook. 

The issue is that the Hong Kong section would have been managed by China's Dr Peng Group, a firm the US government believes has a relationship with the Chinese intelligence and security services.

The project was first announced in 2016. At that time, Google said the cable would "provide enough capacity for Hong Kong to have 80 million concurrent HD video conference calls with Los Angeles". To use the cable, however, companies need permission from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Around 12,800 km (800 miles) of the cable has already been laid but, according to new plans submitted to the US communication authority, it now only links the US to the Philippines and Taiwan.

"We can confirm that the original application for the PLCN cable system has been withdrawn, and a revised application for the US-Taiwan and US-Philippines portions of the system has been submitted," a spokeswoman for Google told the BBC. "We continue to work through established channels to obtain cable landing licenses for our undersea cables." FCC Commissioner Geoffery Stark said in a tweet that he "shared the concerns" of the US Department of Justice, adding that he would "continue to speak out" against China accessing data carried by the cables.  Operation of the cable has been caught in the ongoing US-China trade war, which doesn't seem to have an end in sight.  A similar fibre-optic cable has been announced between the UK, US and Spain. The 'Grace Hopper' cable will run from New York and split off to Bilbao in Spain and Cornwall in the UK.

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Most Popular

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?
web hosting

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?

12 Jan 2021
150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database
data management

150,000 arrest records accidentally deleted from police database

15 Jan 2021