(Santiago de Chile) The Chilean government and Google announced Thursday the construction of the first submarine fiber optic cable between South America, Asia and Oceania, called “Humboldt Project”, which will allow more great digital connection between these regions.

The cable, with a length of 14,800 kilometers and a capacity of 144 terabytes per second, will connect the Chilean city of Valparaiso to Sydney in Australia.

With an initial investment of $55 million, construction will begin in 2025 and be completed a year later. The operating life is estimated at 25 years.

“After years of work and alliances, we signed an agreement with Google to build the Humboldt Cable, which will be the first fiber optic submarine cable that will directly connect South America to Oceania and the ‘Asia,” said President Gabriel Boric while presenting the initiative to the press.

This cable “consolidates Chile’s position as the center of digital activity in South America, which will open up opportunities for new industries, jobs and better working and living conditions for thousands of people,” he added.

Karan Bhatia, Google’s Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, noted that the cable will help “forge a physical connection with Asia, (and) it will be a 21st century trade route.”

The US State Department welcomed the initiative, saying it would accelerate “digital connectivity and the integration of South America and Pacific island countries into the global economy”.

This submarine cable project is named after the German Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), geographer, naturalist and astronomer whose surname also gives its name to the Humboldt Current which runs along the Chilean and Peruvian coasts, and has a endemic penguin species.