Google is making a big push to improve connectivity in South America with its new Firmina subsea cable. It'll run from the US East Coast to Las Toninas, Argentina, with additional connections in Punda del Este, Uruguay and Praia Grande, Brazil. Notably, Google says this is the longest subsea cable in the world that can be powered from a single end, which should help to stabilize its connection amid power supply issues. Firmina marks Google's 16th undersea cable investment, which also includes the Curie cable connecting the US and Chile, and the Grace Hopper cable that reaches the U.K. and Spain.
It's easy to forget this when we mostly talk about wireless connectivity and satellites, but undersea cables remain the most crucial way to spread network connectivity around the world. Google says the Firmina cable will have 12 fiber pairs, which should both speed up network traffic and lower the latency to Google services like Search and Gmail (of course). The cable is named after Maria Firmina dos Reis, a Brazilian abolitionist and novelist who explored the lives of Afro-Brazilian slaves in her 1859 novel Úrsula.