The existing bandwidth between Asia and North America is crowded. Following FCC approval of a U.S.-China link last month, Google and five other companies have announced a Japan-U.S. link to be completed in early 2010.
The $300 million fiber-optic cable will stretch approximately 10,000 km (6,214 miles) under the Pacific. "Google's partners in the consortium, dubbed Unity, comprises Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI, Pacnet, and Singapore Telecommunications," Yahoo News reported.
Internet users in East Asia are familiar with sometimes sluggish speeds on transpacific transmissions. In my experience, connections are for some reason faster in Beijing than in Shanghai, but everywhere I've gone in China there's been some lag. (Speeds in Tokyo were very fast when I was there in late 2004 and 2005.)
The previously announced cable, dubbed the Trans-Pacific Express, is scheduled to be partially operational before the Beijing Olympics begin on August 8. It will be the first direct connection between the United States and China.