Marea: Microsoft and Facebook transatlantic cable completed

Microsoft and Facebook celebrate the successful completion of their grandiose project - Marea (from Spanish - “tide”) - a trans-Atlantic telecommunication cable between the coast of Virginia (USA) and Bilbao (Spain). Today we learn what this “thread” between the continents is, how did the process of its creation go, and, of course, what is the main purpose of its existence?

Marea (technical specifications):

Inside, the cable consists of 8 pairs of fiber optic cables surrounded by copper, a hard plastic protective layer and a waterproof coating. Most of the cable just lies at the bottom of the ocean, but closer to the coast, it was buried in the bottom, in order to avoid damage to the ships.

One of the main reasons for the emergence of the very idea of ​​Marea was a natural cataclysm of terrifying power - the super-storm Sandy. In October 2012, he struck the eastern coast of the United States with unimaginable force. Here is what Frank Ray (head of Microsoft's global networks strategy department) says: “It was a global problem. The entire network between the USA and Europe was broken for several hours. For us, the storm revealed a potential problem in consolidating transatlantic cables that all go to New York and New Jersey. ”

Simply put, the storm showed that there should be more cables and their location should be separated from each other. This will allow, in the case of such a natural disaster, to prevent a total disruption of the network.

Microsoft found odnodumtsev in the face of Facebook company executives, announcing, as a result, about partnership in this project. The process of creating Marea and, subsequently, its operator became Telxius, a branch of the telecommunications company Telefónica.

Among other things, Marea was the first cable between Virginia and Spain. For both sides this is a big event. Virginia Beach (the city where the cable goes) used to be an ordinary port and tourist city. Now it will become one of the most important US telecommunications hubs. Virginia was not chosen by chance. In recent years, a large growth of the IT industry has begun in this region, many new DCs have emerged. On the European side, on the other hand, Spain is perfect for a more global expansion of connectivity, making it possible to establish links with Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Spanish metal manufacturer Sanjo, involved in the project, has invested $ 17.5 million to build a new plant in Virginia Beach.

According to Microsoft President Brad Smith: “Marea has come at a critical moment. Submarine cables across the Atlantic already transmit 55% more data than cables across the Pacific, and 40% more than what is transmitted between the United States and Latin America. There is no doubt that Marea will represent an important link between the US and Spain, given the growing demand for data transmission across the Atlantic. ”

Another advantage of this project is its “openness”. That is, according to Microsoft and Facebook, the cable will evolve in parallel with the development of technology, thus providing the desired level of performance for current and future users.

The actual launch of Marea is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. Both Microsoft and Facebook are confident in the success of their offspring. From a commercial point of view, this cable will allow companies to increase their profits due to the growth of customers and users of their services. But beyond that, there is global significance. Decentralization of transatlantic cables, their distance from each other, will allow creating backup channels in case of any incident. In a quiet time, additional cable, especially such a large bandwidth (160 terabits / s) will significantly improve data transfer between continents, that not only large companies, but also ordinary users, like us, will notice.

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