Facebook, Microsoft, and the Spanish telecommunication company Telxius have just finished a 4,000 mile cable that links Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain.
Nicknamed “Marea,” which means “tide” in Spanish, the cable is situated more that 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface in come places, the companies have called it the “most technologically advanced subsea cable.” It can provide up to 160 terabit of data per second, a step up from a previous subsea cable nicknamed “Faster” and built by Google.
According to Yahoo Finance, the cable weighs about 10.25 million pounds (the weight of 34 blue whales) and will be operational by early 2018. In effort to ensure its longevity, the companies have attempted to make the cable’s functionality flexible – an attempt to keep it from becoming obsolete in a culture of rapid technological progress.
Most intercontinental communications cables connect on the United States side at New York or New Jersey, but following hurricane Sandy devastation – which disconnected a transatlantic cable for several days – Microsoft decided it was time to diversify their efforts.
“The superstorm sparked the realization that another major event could disrupt the vital connectivity lifeline across the Atlantic,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “As part of its ongoing efforts to drive innovation and expand capacity of its global network, Microsoft sought options for making transatlantic connections more resilient.”
None of the companies involved have disclosed how much the project cost, but wow, that’s a big cable.
Watch this webcast from Microsoft for more.