A group of six international companies, including Google of the U.S., is building a US$300 million underwater fiber optic cable linking the United States and Japan.

The trans-Pacific 10,000 kilometer broadband cablesystem called Unity will respond to the expected growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the U.S., the companies said in a statement Monday. A signing ceremony was held Feb. 23, they said.

Besides U.S. Internet search company Google Inc., the consortium - also named Unity - includes Bharti Airtel Limited, India's leading integrated telecom services provider, and Japanese telecommunications company KDDI Corp.

The others are Malaysian Internet company Global Transit; Pacnet, a telecom company headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore; and SingTel, a leading Asian communications and mobile company.

NEC Corp. and Tyco Telecommunications are suppliers for the project, set to be up and running in the first quarter of 2010. Construction begins immediately, according to Unity.

The cable will connect Chikura, near Tokyo, with Los Angeles and other U.S. West Coast points, and the system connects to other Asian cable systems via Chikura, the companies said.

"The Unity cable system allows the members of the consortium to provide the increased capacity needed as more applications and services migrate online, giving users faster and more reliable connectivity," said Unity spokesperson Jayne Stowell.

The economic crisis in America make a global recession. President Bush said Friday that the government's financial rescue plan was aggressive enough and big enough to work, but would take time to fully kick in. "We can solve this crisis and we will," he said in brief remarks from the White House Rose Garden.

Bush spoke as leaders of the world's top economies gathered in Washington amid frozen credit markets, panic selling in stock markets and a looming global recession.

This week, domain name broker Sedo sold the highly-desirable domain name pizza.com for the cool sum of $2.6 million. And while that's an impressive amount of money to pay for something that doesn't actually exist, it still doesn't quite crack the top ten list of most expensive domain names ever sold.

Here's the list as it stands today. Naturally, this list only reflects domains that have actually been resold. Domains like yahoo.com which are still in use by the original owner don't count, and they may indeed be far more valuable if they were ever to hit the market.

The Ten Most Expensive Domain Names Ever Sold

1. Sex.com, $12.5 million
2. Porn.com, $9.5 million
3. Diamond.com, $7.5 million
4. Business.com, $7.5 million
5. Casino.com, $5.5 million
6. Asseenontv.com, $5 million
7. Korea.com, $5 million
8. Wine.com, $3.3 million
9. Creditcheck.com, $3 million
10. Vodka.com, $3 million

Some obvious ones there (sex and porn are worth money, eh?), and some surprises: Asseenontv? Creditcheck? The conventional wisdom holds that single-word domains are the most valuable domains, but exceptions abound.

I spoke to Sedo COO Jeremiah Johnston and he noted that there are a dozen variables that go into the value of a domain name, including length, memorability, and the competitive landscape for similar domains. (I wonder what Diamonds.com is worth.) He also thinks the market for domains will continue to go up, but of course, that's his job. Got a million-dollar domain you're sitting on? Maybe the time is right to look for a buyer.

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