Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius complete ambitious Marea undersea cable project

Arif Bacchus

Exactly one year ago to the date, Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius publicly announced plans for Marea, a new cross-Atlantic subsea cable that would allow the companies to better serve their customers using their online services. Today Microsoft announced completion of the project, saying it will help the world by better meeting the rapidly growing demand for internet and cloud services.

As part of the project, global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius laid down more than 4,000 miles long of cable, making Marea the most technologically advanced subsea cable to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The cable runs alongside a route south of existing transatlantic cable systems, and is physically separate from it, helping create more resilient and reliable connections.

It took two years to complete the project, which is three times faster than normal. Suresh Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure & Operations, detailed what the cable system means for the future.

The Marea cable’s new “open” design allows it to evolve with technology, ensuring the highest performance for users now and well into the future, even as the global population of internet users grows… Marea is a powerful example of the important role the private sector has to play in connecting the world… 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.

Unlike other cable systems which land in New York or New Jersey, Marea connects the US State of Virginia and Spain in Europe, and can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second. This about 16 million times faster than your connection at home, meaning it can stream 71 million HD videos simultaneously.

Microsoft is planning to celebrate the completion, and you can watch in a live-streamed event from Williamsburg, Virginia. The event will feature Microsoft partners, and U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. You can also learn more about the Marea project by checking out Microsoft’s official website.