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US, Japan to Connect with Fiber-Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables.

Fiber optic cables.

Work will begin immediately on a new fiber-optic cable between the United States and Japan. The $300 million project, called “FASTER,” is to be finished before the middle of 2016. The cable will run 9,000 kilometers. It will be the longest data cable in the world.

Five Asian technology companies -- including China Mobile International and the Japanese NEC Corporation -- have agreed to invest in the project. The Internet search services company Google says it will also support the new project.

There are already several hundred underwater cables that connect cities in the United States to Asia. But the new cable will permit information to travel much faster.

The new cable will connect the Californian cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington to two places in Japan -- Chikura and Shima. It will then connect with other cables already in the two countries.

The companies say cable data flow will begin with a speed of 60 terabits per second.

I’m Christopher Cruise.

This story was reported by VOA reporter George Putic in Washington and adapted for Learning English by Christopher Cruise. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in the News

cable - n. a group of wires or fiber optics covered in plastic or rubber and used to carry signals; a wire rope or metal chain

data - n. facts or information used to calculate, analyze or plan something; information that is produced or stored by a computer

terabit - n. a multiple of the unit bit for digital information

1 terabit = 1,000,000,000,000 bits = 1,000 gigabits

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