Microsoft And Facebook Team Up To Build Transatlantic Data Cable

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Set to be completed in 2017, new MAREA cable will help speed up cloud and online services at both companies

Facebook and Microsoft have revealed that they are teaming up to build one of the largest subsea cable projects to date.

The computing giant and social media titan will work together to roll out the new MAREA cable across 6,600km of the Atlantic Ocean as it looks to deal with growing customer demand for faster data connections.

Set to begin construction in August 2016, the cable is expected to see completion in October 2017, providing a significant boost in data transfer speeds across the Atlantic.

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MAREA-CableThe project will be overseen by new Telefónica subsidiary Telxius, which will operate and manage the building and deployment of the cable, which will link Virginia Beach in the eastern United States to Bilbao in Spain, before extending on to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Microsoft does have previous experience in underwater engineering, having earlier this year tested an underwater data centre that it hopes could reduce cloud latency by being placed close to heavily populated areas near coastlines.

Project Natick, which held a test rack of servers, was sunk 30 feet off California for four months in 2015, with Microsoft now looking to further develop the research by building larger capsules that could possibly house cloud services such as Azure and Office 365.

“As the world is increasingly moving toward a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft continues to invest in our cloud infrastructure to meet current and future growing global demand for our more than 200 cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and the Microsoft Azure platform,” said Christian Belady, Microsoft’s general manager, datacentre strategy, planning & development.

“The MAREA transatlantic cable we’re building with Facebook and Telxius will provide new, low-latency connectivity that will help meet the increasing demand for higher-speed capacity across the Atlantic. By building the cable along this new southern route, we will also increase the resiliency of our global network, helping ensure even greater reliability for our customers.”

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