It is now threatening to start its own wireless carrier and it is getting ready to hire ships that will lay a data communications cable across the Pacific, according to a report from Communications Day, an Australian trade news service.

Google would plan to be part of a project called Unity that would also include several telecommunications companies, that hopes to have a cable in service by 2009, the publication wrote. It would own a dedicated portion of the multi-terabit cable, giving it a significant cost advantage for trans-Pacific data transmission over rival Internet companies.

Barry Schnitt, a Google spokesman, did not confirm the plan, but did tell the publication the company is interested in the area, saying, Additional infrastructure for the Internet is good for users and there are a number of proposals to add a Pacific submarine cable. We are not commenting on any of these plans. Communications Day also noted that Google has advertised to hire people who would be involved in new projects or investments in cable systems that Google may contemplate to extend or grow its backbone.

Google has long been buying up data communications capacity. Its search engine works by making copies of nearly every page of the Internet in its own data centers, requiring that it move no small amount of data around the world on a regular basis. And its new plans to deliver applications over the Internet will use even more bandwidth.

Dave Burstein, the editor of DSLPrime, who tipped me off to the CommDay report, explained even though there is a lot of unused fiber capacity across the Pacific, there are few players, and prices are seen as unusually high. He adds that there is a glut of cable laying ships, so the cost of building a new link to Asia has come down.

This new move puts Google in competition again with Verizon, which has fought Googles approach to the new wireless spectrum auction in the United States. Verizon is part of a group of Asian Carriers that is building a $500 million cable between the United States and China.