Microsoft and Facebook Complete the Marea Sub-sea Cable Project

Microsoft and Facebook have completed the transatlantic sub-sea cable project which spans around 6430 kilometers and starts form Virginia Beach, Virginia in North America to Bilbao in Spain.

Microsoft and Facebook built the 6430 kilometer sub-sea cable to span from Virginia Beach, Virginia in North America to Bilbao in Spain.

Global networks have provided access to internet and cloud technology every day to people and organizations. That system enables tasks with different range of difficulties, from managing air-travel logistics down and conducting bank transactions and uploading photos or surfing the web. The awareness of people’s daily dependency on the internet is growing, but few understand the crucial role played by sub-sea networks providing the planet’s connectivity.facebook

The 4,000-mile-long sub-sea cable is Dubbed Marea, Spanish for “tide” and is the first sub-sea cable connecting Virginia and Spain. Microsoft and Facebook agreed to be partners with the development, design and implementation, wherein Telxius, a global telecommunication infrastructure company, joined as the third partner to manage the operation of the cable and it’s construction.

Marea is the highest-capacity transatlantic cable, providing up to 160 terabits of data per second which is 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection. Furthermore, it is situated many miles south of the current connection points, convenient to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The project gives importance to the increasing role of private companies in building the future’s infrastructure. The cable was designed by Microsoft and Facebook with a variety of networking equipment where the new “open” design can evolve with technology. It ensures the highest performance for the users, even as the global population of internet grows.

The Marea’s Origin

Microsoft and Facebook Complete the Marea Sub-sea Cable Project

The necessity of the idea’s execution was first made aware when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the U.S. in October 2012. The damage in the coastal communities caused billions of dollars in destruction and shutdown wireless services as well as with their internet and home phone. It affected more than the locals but also the communication connections between some of the world’s largest economies.

The realization of another major event disrupting vital connection across the Atlantic and Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to expand its global network capacity, pushed them to seek for a way to make transatlantic connections more resilient as it partnered with Facebook leaders who shared a similar perspective.

“We kept running into each other at industry events and meetings,” stated Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division. “We collectively recognized that we were each trying to solve the same problem and could combine our technical and engineering expertise to reinforce the transatlantic network and design a better cable for global connectivity.”

The cable’s construction began in August 2016 and approximately five months ago, it started its journey across the Atlantic. The Marea was completed in less than two years, faster than the typical subsea cable project, and is planned to be operational in early 2018. It bridge an important route for cross-border data flows between Europe and the United States.

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