New Microsoft-Facebook subsea cable can transmit data at 160Tbps

Microsoft has announced the completion of the Marea subsea cable, a joint project with Facebook and global telecommunications infrastructure company Telxius.

In a statement, Suresh Kumar, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for cloud infrastructure and operations, said the subsea cable was the most technologically advanced to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The cable runs for more than 6600 kms and weighs about 4.65 million kgs – or about the weight of 34 blue whales.

It can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second – making it 16 million times faster than the average US home Internet connection.

At that speed, it can stream 71 million high-definition videos simultaneously.

ms cable big

The installation of the Marea subsea cable began last year. Photo: courtesy Microsoft

It was also the first to connect the US state of Virginia with Spain, with the landing being in Virginia Beach and Bilbao.

Kumar said the cable’s new “open” design would allow it to evolve with technology, as the number of Internet users increased globally.

“And make no mistake, the demand is growing. Just think of the many high-bandwidth applications and content you use today such as Skype and Facebook Live, and the volume of streaming videos, movies and music consumed daily,” he said.

“This ability to interoperate with many different kinds of networking equipment brings significant benefits including lower costs and easier equipment upgrades, leading to faster growth in bandwidth rates.”

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