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Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up for the fastest undersea cable across the Atlantic

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Data center
Data center

Software giant Microsoft and social networking stalwart Facebook are teaming up to build a massive subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean dubbed “MAREA”, to provide high-capacity, high-speed, reliable internet connections for the companies’ online services.

MAREA, which means Spanish for “tide”, is a massive underwater transatlantic cable will stretch from Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, shuttling digital data across 6,600 kilometers of vast ocean. Providing companies of up to 160 terabytes per second of bandwidth, which about 16 million times the bandwidth of your home Internet connection. The move will allow the two companies to more efficiently move enormous amounts of information between the many data centers that underpin their popular online services.

The massive construction will begin in August 2016 and is expected to be completed by October 2017. The 6,600-kilometer undersea cable will connect a data hub in Northern Virginia to another data hub in Bilbao, Spain and then to other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East region , and Asia.

Tech giants Facebook and Microsoft are leading this massive undersea effort, along with telecom partners Telefonica and its Telxius subsidiary, which will manage the whole systems. The companies did not share any information about the total cost of the said massive undersea project.

Once completed, MAREA will be the highest-capacity underwater cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The system will be using a different route from other existing undersea cable systems that connect the US mainland with the European continent. The main reason for rerouting is to ensure more resilient and reliable connections for the companies’ customers in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.

As the world is increasingly moving toward a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft continues to invest in our cloud infrastructure to meet current and future growing global demand for our more than 200 cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and the Microsoft Azure platform,” Christian Belady, Microsoft’s lead data center executive, said in a prepared statement, via the ZDnet.

“The MAREA transatlantic cable we’re building with Facebook and Telxius will provide new, low-latency connectivity that will help meet the increasing demand for higher-speed capacity across the Atlantic,” Belady continued, via the ZDnet.

Picture Courtesy: Gregory Maxwell/Wikimedia Commons

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