The Chilean government and Google are partnering to build the first undersea fibre-optic cable between South America and the Asia Pacific. The Humboldt Cable Project will connect Chile’s port city of Valparaiso with Sydney, Australia through 14,800 kilometres of fibre-optic cable with a capacity of 144 terabytes. It will open opportunities for new industries, jobs, and better work and life conditions for thousands of people. The planned network will span about 15,000km, linking Valparaiso in Chile to Sydney in Australia, with connections to Easter Island, New Zealand, and Antarctica. The project aims to enhance Australia’s global connectivity and complement its work with Pacific countries to secure better access to the global digital economy. This announcement comes at a time when China and the United States have been battling for economic and political influence in Latin America, with undersea cables central to the technology competition. There has been discussion of a number of fibre-optic projects to Asia in recent years. President Gabriel Boric said that this cable will consolidate Chile’s position as the center of digital activity in South America. Australia’s communication minister, Michelle Rowland, welcomed the project, saying it will improve communication infrastructure in the region.
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