Microsoft and Facebook have completed the 6,430 kilometer subsea cable which starts from Virginia Beach, Virginia in North America to Bilbao in Spain.
With the help of Telefonica, a Spanish telecom provider, the cable connects North America to Europe. According to a Microsoft blog post, the idea of laying a subsea cable came up in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit US. A report at that time had said, "with cell phone service knocked out and no electricity in many parts of New York City in the wake of superstorm Sandy, people are waiting in lines to use a relic from the past - the pay phone."
Dubbed the Marea subsea, the cable provides 160 TB of data per second. Both the companies believe that with the increasing need for internet and cloud services the cable could be useful. The cable lays on the ocean floor though some of it is on the shore. It is the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic.
The purpose of the cable is to provide internet connectivity in the trans-Atlantic region especially when a natural disaster hits. To prevent any connection cut, the cable will provide internet when it is needed the most.
“It was a major disruption,” says Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division. “The entire network between North America and Europe was isolated for a number of hours. For us, the storm brought to light a potential challenge in the consolidation of transatlantic cables that all landed in New York and New Jersey.”
Called the Marea subsea, the cable provides 160 TB of data per second. The company will provide the need for increasing the demand for internet and cloud services.
North Virginia is Microsoft's main internet data cente. The subsea cable connection will serve cross-border data flow between two continents, the US and Europe. The construction of Marea began in August 2016, meanwhile the cable work began in five months. It is expected to go operational in 2018.
“Taking a step to improve the resiliency of the internet infrastructure was something we saw as a positive for the entire global network, and a positive for people who rely on their digital devices for so many aspects of their daily lives.” Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations division.
According to president of Microsoft, Brad Smith the submarine cable will given an opportunity to connect from the US to Spain and then beyond.