Unfortunately for most, traversing back and forth to Asia from America on a regular basis isn't exactly in the cards, but thanks to a $500 million project agreed upon by a 17-member telecommunications consortium, visiting via fiber will soon be a whole lot snappier. Telekom Malaysia, along with 16 other firms, have awarded a half billion dollar contract to Alcatel-Lucent and NEC to construct a 12,428-mile link between the west coast of America and Southeast Asia. The aptly-dubbed Asia-America Gateway will connect the western US with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii, while also offering "seamless interconnection" with Europe, Africa, and Australia. Moreover, the project is being designed to provide a "more secure link for traffic" across the seas, as it avoids the hazardous Pacific Ring in hopes of dodging massive internet outages due to unexpected earthquakes. Best of all, the wait time for the undersea cabling to make an impact is fairly reasonable, as users should see "faster and more reliable service" when it becomes operational in December of next year.