Microsoft and Facebook were working on a trans cable in recent time in collaboration with telecom infrastructure company Telxius known as Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea. Now they have just announced the completion of an undersea cable, the highest capacity cable of its kind to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean.
The cable is named Marea (Spanish for ‘tide’) and it is laid 6,400 km between Virginia Beach and Bilbao in Spain. It is approximately 17,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic. Marea also stretches a route south of most existing transatlantic cables. Microsoft is saying that the cable will provide elasticity for those living in the US and Europe by safeguarding against natural disasters or other major events that might cause disruptions to connections. As Microsoft and Facebook, both companies have large data centers operating in Virginia.
Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea and Its Features
Marea is capable of transmitting a blistering 160 terabits of data per second, equivalent to streaming 71 million HD videos simultaneously. It is approximately 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection, Microsoft said in a blog post and will be operational by early 2018.
“Marea comes at a critical time,” Said Microsoft president Brad Smith. He added “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.” For most of the route, the cable is made up of eight pairs of fiber optic cables enclosed by copper laying on the ocean floor. Some parts are buried to protect from shipping traffic, usually in areas closer to the shore.
Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea Manufacturing and Benefits
Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea cable manufacturing was completed three times faster than expected and is finished up in just two years. It has an “open design” meaning that it can be easily upgraded and expanded as the number of Internet users around the world increases. The Marea cable provides a path to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where the next billion internet users are expected to come from.
Tech companies are increasingly moving into the infrastructure space and funding new cables themselves. Google has also invested in two cables that run from the US to Japan, South America, and other countries in Asia. Microsoft and Facebook’s Marea cable has provided Facebook and Microsoft more control over the vast amounts of data they need to move quickly around the world. Both companies will benefit from improvements in cloud services for products like Microsoft’s Office 365, Azure, and Xbox Live, and Facebook’s Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.