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Google-funded undersea cable to Hong Kong might be blocked by the U.S.

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What you need to know

  • The U.S. is considering blocking an undersea cable between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
  • Google and Facebook are both funding the 8,000 mile-long data cable.
  • Neither company has responded to the situation.

Underwater across the Pacific Ocean, there's something being built called the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) that connects Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

The cable is 8,000 miles long and is funded by both Google and Facebook, but on August 29, it was reported that U.S. officials are considering blocking the project.

U.S. officials are seeking to block an undersea cable backed by Google, Facebook Inc. and a Chinese partner, in a national security review that could rewrite the rules of internet connectivity between the U.S. and China, according to people involved in the discussions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, while most of the cable has already been completed, the U.S. is considering not granting the required license for the cable to actually operate. If the license is blocked, it would mark the first time the United States has done so for an undersea cable as a result of a national security concern.

As for the purpose of the cable, it's designed to offer shorter load/wait times and increased bandwidth for Facebook users and the Google Cloud Platform. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, rising tensions with China mean this decision isn't all that surprising.

Both Google and Facebook have yet to issue official responses to this news.

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

1 Comment
  • There is no "security issue" in making a faster version of a connection that already exists. This isn't the battle that the government should be fighting with big tech; there are far bigger concerns