Facebook and Microsoft Team Up to Lay a Massive Internet Cable Across the Atlantic
- 4100 mile fibre optic cable
- Capable of 160TB per second
- Going from Virginia Beach in Virginia, to Bilbao, SPain
- Project name: MAREA
- Will be able to “meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services for Microsoft, Facebook and their customers"
- Construction scheduled to start in August and the companies expect the process to be complete in October 2017
- Price for the project has not been announced
Facebook and Microsoft are teaming together to lay down a fibre optic across the Atlantic Ocean for wider spread & faster internet connection for connected countries. A 4,100-mile cable capable of 160 terabits per second. Facebook and Microsoft announced a partnership today to lay the highest-capacity subsea internet cable to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean, starting with hubs connecting Northern Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. The cable, called "MAREA" after the Spanish word for "tide," will be capable of 160 terabits per second of bandwidth and will stretch more than 4,100 miles of ocean in a submarine cable system. The two companies have hired Telxius, the infrastructure company owned by global communications giant Telefónica, to manage MAREA and expand network hubs from Europe to Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Construction is slated to begin in August of this year with a goal of October 2017 to complete the cable.
FASTER SUB SEA INTERNET CABLES
The ultimate goal here is to help both Facebook and Microsoft move information around the world - to their vast and expanding networks of data centers - at higher speeds using more reliable equipment. Both companies now maintain massive cloud-computing operations, with Facebook hosting the output of 1.65 billion users and Microsoft managing a robust suite of online services including Azure, Bing, Xbox Live, and Office 365. To continue expanding, these types of companies are increasingly moving into the infrastructure business, whether that be Amazon with its shipping network or Facebook and Microsoft with data operations to reach other parts of the globe.
Investing in subsea cables is not a new trend. Tech companies have been making sizable investments in global networking infrastructure for years, starting with server farms and data centers and onward to large-scale underwater operations. Although this new deal involves only Facebook and Microsoft, Google has invested in two undersea cables that stretch from the US to Japan, South America, and other parts of Asia.
Microsoft says its new project with Facebook provides interoperability with other networking equipment. "This new 'open' design brings significant benefits for customers: lower costs and easier equipment upgrades which leads to faster growth in bandwidth rates since the system can evolve at the pace of optical technology innovation," the company said in a statement.