US govt grants Google’s request to use banned subsea connectivity route between Taiwan and US

The Pacific Light Cable Network connects the US mainland with Taiwan and Hong Kong, but the US government has banned companies from using it to connect to the US, siting national security concerns
Pacific Light Cable Network, Subsea, Connectivity, US, Taiwan

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The US Justice Department has approved Google’s request to utilise a portion of the 12,900 km Pacific Light Cable Network connecting the US to Taiwan, on the grounds that it would otherwise have to pay exorbitantly high rates to route its traffic on other networks.

However, the DoJ has rejected a request to use the full length of the cable, which would have connected the US with Hong Kong.

“There is a significant risk that the grant of a direct cable connection between the United States and Hong Kong would seriously jeopardise the national security and law enforcement interests of the United States,” the DoJ said in a statement to the press.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will grant Google a temporary license to operate the US – Taiwan branch of the cable for the next six months. The move will allow Google to connect its data centres in Taiwan with those on the West Coast of the US mainland.

As part of the agreement, Google has also agreed to explore ways to diversify its network interconnect strategy between the US and Asia.

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