Companies Cheer Completion of Open-Design Transatlantic Internet Cable

Beginning installation of the Marea cable

Microsoft on Friday announced completion of the Marea undersea cable, which stretches 4,400 miles between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain.

A joint project of Microsoft, Facebook and global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius, the cable lies more than 17,000 feet below the ocean's surface.

The Marea cable coiled on ship

It is the first cable to link Virginia and Spain. The Bilbao terminus provides access to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Marea is located several miles south of the current connection points between the United States and Europe, for protection against natural disasters or other major disruptive events.

Ahead of Schedule

Its open design will let it evolve with technology and interoperate with a variety of networking equipment.

"The project's success could set an example for other global communication initiatives to emulate," said James Scott, senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure.

"Its focus is on resilient and reliable connections and on a modular, open design," he told TechNewsWorld.

Beginning installation of the Marea cable

Announced in June 2016, Marea was scheduled for completion in early 2018. Its two-year construction is about three times faster than the norm.

Marea provides up to 160 Tbits/sec connectivity and is the highest-capacity subsea transatlantic cable to date.

Transatlantic submarine cables carry 55 percent more data than their transpacific counterparts, and 40 percent more data than betwe....

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