August 13, 2020

US-China row moves underwater in cable tangle

(BBC) – An underwater data cable, linking the US to Hong Kong, looks set to be rejected by the US government because of fears of Chinese data theft.

The Pacific Light Cable Network, backed by Google and Facebook, is designed to boost internet speed and capacity.

But a US government committee known as “Team Telecom” has now recommended that the US denies it approval.

The decision is another sign of the growing tension between the US and China, who are in a trade war.

It would reportedly be the first such cable rejected by the US on national security grounds.

What is the Pacific Light Cable Network?

Around the world, there are hundreds of undersea cables providing internet connectivity.

The new cable was announced in 2016 as a partnership between Google, Facebook, and other companies.

Google said the cable would be 12,800 km long (8,000 miles) and would be the “highest-capacity trans-Pacific route”.

“In other words, [the cable] will provide enough capacity for Hong Kong to have 80 million concurrent HD video conference calls with Los Angeles,” the company said.

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