|Total length||6,250 km + 6,300 km|
|Design capacity||352 Tbit/s|
|Date of first use||2021|
Grace Hopper is a private transatlantic communications cable that will connect the United States of America (New York) with the UK (Bude) and Spain (Bilbao). It was announced by Google in 2020 and is due to go live in 2022.
In July 2020, Google announced that it would be investing in a new private subsea cable — Grace Hopper — its fourth private subsea cable after Curie (which was completed in 2019), Dunant and Equiano. The Grace Hopper cable, which will link America with the UK and Spain was named after the American pioneering computer scientist Grace Brewster Murray Hopper, who was known for developing an early compiler that was important in the development of COBOL. Google said it was: "thrilled to honor Grace Hopper’s legacy of innovation by investing in the future of transatlantic communications with a state-of-the-art fiber optic cable".
Google stated that the cable will provide better resilience for its network and marked its first investment in a private subsea cable route to the UK, and its first route to Spain. The cable, which is due to go live in 2022, will integrate the new Google Cloud region in Madrid more tightly into Google's global infrastructure. Google's Jayne Stowell also has stated that another motivation for the investment is that many of the existing transatlantic cables are aging and need to be upgraded. “We need to be able to proactively manage the capacity availability, quality, latency, routing, technology and scalability of our network to provide constant, uninterruptible and high quality of network to Google services like Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud,” she said. Telecoms industry analysts have said that the main purpose of Google's subsea cable investments in cables such as Grace Hopper are twofold: to support and control quality of service and to reduce costs.
The Grace Hopper cable consists of 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers) of 22 Tbit/s each (352 Tbit/s total) and optical switching that will increase its reliability and also enable Google to more easily move traffic around during outages. This technology was developed in co-operation with SubCom, formerly a TE Connectivity company, who will build the cable and which also worked with Google on the Dunant and Curie cables.
The cable route will comprise a 6,250km stretch from New York to Widemouth Bay, Cornwall and a 6,300km route between New York and Bilbao.
Owing to works managed by Telxius, the cable landed in Sopelana (near Bilbao) on 10th September 2021. It later landed near GCHQ Bude on 14th September 2021, with the location chosen as it was "an ideal, nicely protected beach and adjacent to a lot of the terrestrial infrastructure needed".