The Department of Justice granted a federal clearance for Google to temporarily operate sub-sea level fiber optic connections that runs from the U.S. through Taiwan. Google’s request comes as executives tout the company’s ability to manage increased workload demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google has received approval from U.S. regulators to build and operate a sub-sea level cable system after saying it needs more connectivity capacity.
The company had applied for the government clearance on April 2, and said in its filing that it had an “immediate need” to expand capacity since it saw a potential for its systems to reach maximum capacity in the Asia-Pacific region within the next six months.
Approval for Google’s underseas cable was given by the U.S. Department of Justice with backing from the Department of Defense and U.S Homeland Security. Google told regulators that without the clearance, it would have to seek alternative capacity at “significantly higher prices.”
Pending final documents with the FCC, the subsea cable network, which Google calls the Pacific Light Cable Network System, will run from the United States to Taiwan for the next six months.
Google’s filing came after executives had said that it currently has the capacity to meet the higher demand for its products, like YouTube, as consumers around the world stay home in coronavirus quarantines.
In order to maximize its capacity, Google announced in late March that it would default all videos on YouTube to standard definition, on a temporary basis to balance increased usage. Based upon peak usage, Google has had several brief outages on Google’s Cloud Platform that then led to failures at Gmail, Snapchat and Google’s smart home division.
A Google spokesman said that, “We recognize the importance of Google services at a time like this and are committed to adding capacity to stay ahead of demand. Our dedicated global network deployment and operations team is continually increasing capacity to meet the needs of our users, and that includes our subsea cable system.”