Google is laying the groundwork for a fiber-optic network that for the first time will connect through historical enemies Saudi Arabia and Israel while opening a new corridor for global internet traffic, according to people familiar with the plans. From a report: The project linking India to Europe is Google’s latest globe-crossing internet construction effort. The Alphabet subsidiary is vying with Facebook to build more network capacity to support its surging user demand for videos, search results and other products. Expanded connectivity between Europe and India would also help Google roll out data centers globally and catch up to rivals Microsoft and Amazon.com in the business of on-demand cloud-computing. Google, which names most of its internet cables after scientists, has dubbed the new route Blue Raman after Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. A submarine cable project the length of Blue Raman — at more than 5,000 miles — would cost typically up to $400 million, according to Dubai-based telecommunications firm Salience Consulting. Google is expected to turn to telecom-company partners to help fund the project, including Oman Telecommunications and Telecom Italia, which are helping finance the route, according to those with knowledge of the project. Those partners and others will help fund the cable’s construction while sharing its fiber-optic infrastructure. Those familiar with Google’s Blue Raman project cautioned that it still might not materialize. Because it crosses multiple borders, the project will require agreements with several regulators, and one setback could force Google to redesign the route. For example, Google’s consortium still lacks the go-ahead it needs from Saudi government authorities to connect the Blue Raman project, some of these people said.
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