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Microsoft and Facebook complete 4,000 mile undersea internet cable

The most technologically advanced subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic is manufactured and travels 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, VA to Bilbao, Spain reaching depths of 11,000 feet below the surface and having the staggering ability to deliver 160 terabits-per-second which is more than 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection.

The manufacturing and beach landing of Marea – the most advanced transatlantic subsea cable

A joint project between Microsoft, Facebook, and telecommunications company Telxius is complete with the 4,000 mile “Marea” undersea cable connecting Virginia , USA and Bilbao, Spain.

The Marea cable weighs more than 10 million pounds and runs more than 17,000 feet under the sea. During the process it has encountered such obstacles as undersea volcanoes, earthquake zones, and coral reefs. It uses a route south of existing undersea cable systems to ensure a reliable, constant connection.


Microsoft pointed out that the cable’s “open” design enables it to upgrade with more advanced technologies, with a massive bandwidth capability of 160 terabytes of data per second. For comparison, that’s more than 16 million times faster than your average home internet connection. You could watch 20,000 hours worth of high-definition streaming Netflix movies through the cable, if you so desired.

All of these applications, especially everything that is driven by video, consume a huge amount of bandwidth, So everybody needs to be connected with a high-volume, high-bandwidth infrastructure. With its unique route, this cable is going to be able to absorb and deliver back-and-forth traffic to strengthen communications, not just across the Atlantic, but across the globe.
— Rafael Arranz, chief operating officer for Telxius

The need for a reliable transatlantic connection was underscored by the damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Widespread flooding disabled servers, knocked out websites, and disrupted the world economy.  The storm brought to light a potential challenge in the consolidation of transatlantic cables that all landed in New York and New Jersey.

This is not Microsoft’s first venture in undersea cables. In 2015, the company announced a collaboration to connect its North American data center to Ireland and England. Google is also getting in on the action, teaming up with five Asian firms for a trans-Pacific cable dubbed “Faster.” It recently extended the undersea cable to provide service to Taiwan.


All sources acknowledged