Slideshow

Here's what it takes to lay Google's 9000km undersea cable

The French ship, René Descartes, is loading cable for the transpacific FASTER system

  • An engineer aboard the cable ship René Descartes describes its control systems for an ROV and trench-digging plow in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015. The ship is laying down the 9,000-km FASTER Internet cable system between the US and Japan.

  • Fed by a roller system, a fan-cooled section of the FASTER undersea Internet cable, which will measure 9,000 km and link the U.S. with Japan, plunges into a humid cable tank aboard the cable ship René Descartes in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015.

  • The cable ship René Descartes, owned by French telecom firm Orange, is docked at undersea cable maker OCC's factory in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015. The ship is helping install the 9,000-km transpacific FASTER Internet cable system.

  • A worker at a cable factory run by OCC in Kitakyushu, Japan, holds samples of submarine Internet cables, including an armored version (right), on July 9, 2015. The factory is supplying cable for the Google-backed FASTER system that will link Japan and the U.S.

  • In the hold of the cable ship René Descartes, workers carefully spool part of the 9,000 km of undersea Internet cable that will link Japan and the U.S. as part of the Google-backed FASTER system in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015.

  • Workers aboard the cable ship René Descartes docked at Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015, help load a submarine cable repeater unit, which helps amplify the Internet data signals traveling in systems such as the Google-backed FASTER cable that will link Japan and the U.S.

  • The ROV Hector 6, seen aboard the cable ship René Descartes in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015, can help manipulate and bury undersea cables such as the one being installed for the Google-backed FASTER transpacific system.

  • On the French cable ship René Descartes, one of the main tools to lay down cable in the 9,000-km FASTER transpacific system backed by Google is the 32-ton plow Elodie. Seen in Kitakyushu, Japan, July 9, 2015, it can dig a deep trench 2 km under the surface while it sends video, sonar, hydrophone and other data back to the bridge.

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