Microsoft and Facebook have completed laying an ultra-high capacity fibre-optic cable from the U.S. to Europe.
(CCM) — Microsoft and Facebook have just completed the laying of a 4,000 mile transatlantic cable capable of transmitting data at the rate of an incredible 160 terabits per second. The cable runs from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao, Spain, and is fast enough to stream 71 million HD movies simultaneously, Microsoft said in a blog post. Called Marea, which is Spanish for tide, the cable will be fully operational early in 2018, the company says. It will be managed for Facebook and Microsoft by Telxius, a global telecommunications company.
"Marea comes at a critical time," says Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. "Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55% more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40% more data than between the U.S. and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase and Marea will provide a critical connection for the United States, Spain, and beyond."
Submarine data cables have traditionally been funded by consortiums of telecommunications companies, but tech businesses such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are increasingly looking to fund new cables themselves. Marea will give Microsoft and Facebook greater control over the data that they send around the world, and both will benefit from improvements to the performance of their various products and services including Office 365, Azure, Xbox Live, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
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