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Microsoft and Facebook join forces to build a high-speed subsea cable network across Atlantic

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In an unusual turn of events, Microsoft and Facebook have today announced plans to build a state-of-the-art subsea cable across the Atlantic. It will help both parties meet the ever-increasing customer demand for cloud and online data services.

The project being dubbed as – MAREA – will stretch from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain connecting the United States to the southern European border (initially). The project was setup as a means to meet the growing demand for a high-speed and reliable data connection. As the future of computer technology will revolve around cloud technology at the center, thus someone has to work on building a global infrastructure to support faster and stronger connection to the cloud services.

This partnership marks an important step towards building next-level infrastructure to support upcoming technologies. Frank Rey the director of global network acquisition at Microsoft Corp. says that,

In order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global Internet infrastructure.

The MAREA will be one of a kind high-speed subsea network to span across the entire 6,600 km width of the Atlantic. The cables will feature eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tbps. After connecting United States to the southern part of Europe and then will extend to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There is no comment on how much the whole effort will cost and what each partner is contributing to the same.

The submerged cable network has been approved and the construction of the said subsea cables is expected to start in August 2016, with a tentative completion by the third quarter of 2017, i.e October 2017. The work is being operated and managed by Telxius, Telefónica’s telecommunications infrastructure company who will rely on their experience in subsystems to turn both’s parties dream into reality.

Microsoft and Facebook believe that once completed, the ‘open’ network design will definitely provide significant benefits to customers, in terms of lower costs and easier equipment upgrades. This will help customers keep pace with the developing technologies and faze out older techniques in order to maintain a balance between the availability and performance.


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