The beach of Parée-Préneau in Saint Hilaire de Riez, Vendée

In 2020, Google’s Enhanced Internet will Enter France by Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez

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The French web needs more power. In 2020, Google will connect the US and France with a transatlantic cable that will lead to Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, Vendée.

Dunant project! This is the name of the future transatlantic private cable that will link the US and France, in order to optimize the performance of the French internet.

A project led jointly by the US giant Google and Orange, whose name is a tribute to the creator of the Red Cross, Henri Dunant.

Virginia Beach and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez linked in 2020

Google arrives in France by the Vendée.
Google arrives in France by the Vendée. (© Google)

This submarine cable, which is 6,600 kilometres long, is scheduled to open in 2020. It will connect the Virginia Beach site in the United States and the Parée Préneau beach in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. It is thus by the Vendée that will enter, on the old continent, the new Internet superheated by Google.

Dunant is a new generation cable, the first of its kind to carry 12 pairs of fibres when today’s structures usually carry 6 or 8 pairs.

Pairs of optical fibres that have a capacity of more than 30 Tbp / s each,  “is enough to transfer a video of 1GB in 30 microseconds” says Orange (in charge of receiving and redistributing the data, once they arrived in Europe).

In terms of transmission speed, we are talking here about 250 terabits per second , when the submarine cables currently in service have an average throughput of 30 terabits. The recent transatlantic cable of Facebook and Microsoft, Marea, caps at 160 terabits / s.

Why in Vendée?

Orange has committed to deploy the cable over a distance of 545 km in French waters, including 52 km of the public maritime domain.

Why the choice of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez? Just because Orange has existing structures, formerly known as the “American cable station”. These have not been used since 2016 and the removal of the Eurafrica cable.

The site chosen by the experts and scientists of Silicon Valley and Hong Kong is a former France-Telecom base, now decommissioned. Cables, servers, bunker … Everything is there already. An estimated landing station compliant by Google.

In addition, the temperate climate and the (relative) proximity of the Saint-Ghislain data center in Belgium also convinced the Mountain View giant.

In 2020, Google's Enhanced Internet will Enter France by Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez 1

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