Celebrating the completion of the most advanced subsea cable across the Atlantic

Pablo Tucker
September 23, 2017

Executives from Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius, along with area politicians, gathered in Williamsburg, Va. on September 22 to announce that an undersea cable called Marea-Spanish for "tide"-had been completed". Microsoft plans to use the cable to enhance more than just Skype; it will also use the new bandwidth to provide the infrastructure for future cloud offerings.

Construction on the cable, which stretches 4,000 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, began in August 2016.

Marea, which is Spanish for "tide", is the latest in a line of collaborations involving major USA technology companies and subsea cable infrastructure. It will also make the network more reliable.

Smith says they picked Virginia Beach because so much data flows through the Commonwealth, and it serves as protection from natural disasters as other cables are father north and south. "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".

Over 4,000 miles (6,600 kilometers) long and weighing almost 10.25 million pounds (4.65 million kilograms), the Marea can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second, which Microsoft notes is "more than 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection, making it capable of streaming 71 million high-definition videos simultaneously". Earlier this, Google revealed it was also backing Indigo, a new undersea cable between Asia and Australia.

The project required charting a course with average depths of nearly 11,000 feet.

Microsoft's MAREA page includes a placeholder for a webcast due to kick off at 09:30 Eastern Time, on Friday, September 22nd.

In a time when global economies are deepening their reliance on cloud technologies, and both private and public sectors are embracing the opportunities for growth and improvement through digital transformation, we're energized by the impact the Marea subsea cable will have on the advancement of cloud computing and digital services.

Elsewhere, Google and Facebook previous year partnered on a new submarine cable project between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, while a new Google-backed transpacific internet cable from Japan to OR opened for business.

Najam Ahmad, vice president of network engineering for Facebook, said that through Marea's flexible design and functionality it enables the company to reach its goal to give users "deep connections and shared experiences".

Rafael Arranz, Telxius COO, has said in a previous statement that "all of these applications, especially everything that is driven by video, consume a huge amount of bandwidth". So everybody needs to be connected with a high-volume, high-bandwidth infrastructure.

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