Facebook, Microsoft and Telxius, a subsidiary of Telefónica, have jointly announced the completion of a 6,600 Km-long subsea cable connecting the U.S. to the north of Spain. In the present, Microsoft lists a wide array of cloud-based services that it aims to enhance with the Marea ranging from Bing and Office 365 to Skype and Xbox Live.
Construction of Microsoft and Facebook's jointly-funded submarine cable has ended.
Lying more than 17,000 feet below the ocean's surface, Marea is the most technologically advanced subsea cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the first cable to connect Virginia and Spain, landing in Virginia Beach and Bilbao. Being physically separate from the other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for customers in the United States, Europe and beyond.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, said: "Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55% more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40% more data than between the USA and Latin America".
Most transatlantic communication cables connect to the U.S.in either NY and New Jersey, but having the Marea as its called (meaning "tide" in Spanish) connect in Virginia diversifies connectivity between the US and Europe. Virginia Beach is about 230 miles south of Ashburn, Virginia, the largest (and growing) data center market in North America, and possibly the largest in the world. "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".
The cable will be operational next year.
Construction of the cable began in August 2016 and the laying of subsea cable began only five months ago.
Najam Ahmad, vice president network engineering for Facebook, said Marea's flexible design will allow the company to adapt to future needs and better support its increasingly data-intensive services.
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.
The cable also serves Facebook's goal of enabling users to have "deep connections and shared experiences" with people around the world, he says.
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". The telecommunications infrastructure firm had already established connections to its home country from Africa and Australia.