Microsoft Corporation and Facebook disclosed an agreement to build a new, state-of-the-art subsea cable across the Atlantic. According to the company, the new “MAREA” cable would help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud, as well as, online services for Microsoft, Facebook and their customers.
The two companies indicated that the parties have cleared conditions to go Contract-In-Force (CIF) with their plans, and that the construction of the cable would begin in August 2016 with completion expected in October 2017.
Microsoft’s GM for Datacenter Strategy, Planning & Development, Christian Belady, commented, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
The two companies are aligning to accelerate the development of the next-generation of Internet infrastructure and support the explosion of data consumption and rapid growth of their respective cloud and online services. They pointed out that MAREA would be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic – eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tbps.
Similarly, Facebook’s VP of Network Engineering, Najam Ahmad, said, “Facebook wants to make it possible for people to have deep connections and shared experiences with the people who matter to them most — anywhere in the world, and at any time.”
He added, “We’re always evaluating new technologies and systems in order to provide the best connectivity possible. By creating a vendor-agnostic design with Microsoft and Telxius, we can choose the hardware and software that best serves the system and ultimately increase the pace of innovation. We want to do more of these projects in this manner — allowing us to move fast with more collaboration. We think this is how most subsea cable systems will be built in the future.”