This article was translated by John R. Bopp

As we discussed about a year ago, Microsoft and Facebook are laying a fiber optic underwater cable between Virginia Beach, USA and Sopelana, in the Basque Country.

Now we know that the work will start on June 12, as they begin to lay the cable that will stretch 4,100mi/6,600km from the east coast of Virginia to the north coast of Biscay.

Map of the underwater cables between the US and Europe
Map of the underwater cables between the US and Europe

The news about this underwater fiber optic cable between the US and Europe has been reported on widely since it broke, for two reasons.

Firstly, for the technical characteristics of the cable, which will provide 160 terabits per second of bandwidth, about 16 million times the normal domestic bandwidth.

Also, the fact that two companies of this size have decided to build infrastructure like this and own it shows how big internet giants are looking to have their own independent resources, free from traditional communications companies, despite the fact that Marea, as the cable will be named, will have Telefónica as its operator.

According to the developers of this project, this cable seeks to provide a more efficient path between their big data centers not only in the US and Europe, but also with Africa, the Middle East, and even Asia.  That’s going to place our country at the nexus of digital communication.

Because, as we talked about a year ago, we mustn’t forget that these access points to these lines of communication, through which the world’s data flow, are placed strategically, and offer interesting opportunities to their surroundings.

Below you’ll find the article we wrote last year.

Facebook and Microsoft Are Laying a Giant Cable Across the Atlantic

Facebook and Microsoft are laying a massive cable across the middle of the Atlantic. Dubbed MAREA—Spanish for “tide”—this giant underwater cable will stretch from Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, shuttling digital data across 6,600 kilometers of ocean. Providing up to 160 terabits per second of bandwidth—about 16 million times the bandwidth of your home Internet connection—it will allow the two tech titans to more efficiently move enormous amounts of information between the many computer data centers and network hubs that underpin their popular online services.

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UStoday – 27/5/2016 -USA

Microsoft, Facebook to lay massive undersea cable

A 4,000 mile undersea cable deal announced Thursday by Microsoft and Facebook is just the latest of a dozen high capacity trans-oceanic cables being built by tech companies to deal with their insatiable demand for bandwidth. The two companies plan to build a cable that will run from Virginia Beach, Va., to a data hub in Bilbao, Spain.

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The Guardian – 26/5/2016 – Gran Bretaña

Facebook and Microsoft to build private internet highway underwater

Facebook and Microsoft are going underwater. The two technology companies announced on Thursday they are to install an undersea cable from the east coast of the US to Spain to help speed up their global internet services. Fast connectivity is particularly important to Facebook, which wants to encourage users across the world to broadcast live video and meet in virtual reality. Both activities can consume vast amounts of bandwidth.

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