Microsoft and Facebook finish laying massive transatlantic internet cable

Finishing a project that began a year ago, Microsoft and Facebook have announced the completion of the Marea subsea internet cable, which stretches the width of the Atlantic ocean between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain.

According to a new blog post from Microsoft, the cable weighs in at nearly 10.25 million pounds and is more than 4,000 miles in length. Further, the cable can transfer data at up to 160 terabits per second, which comes in at 16 million times faster than an average home internet connection, Microsoft says. From Microsoft:

In a time when global economies are deepening their reliance on cloud technologies, and both private and public sectors are embracing the opportunities for growth and improvement through digital transformation, we're energized by the impact the Marea subsea cable will have on the advancement of cloud computing and digital services. And we look forward to furthering our respective investments in building high-tech infrastructure to better connect our world, foster economic growth and advance technological capabilities.

The cable was laid as part of a partnership between Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius — Telefónica's telecommunications infrastructure company. Intentionally places south of existing transatlantic cable systems, Marea is intended to make "more resilient and reliable connections" for communications between the U.S. and Europe. For its part, Microsoft also sees Marea as a way to bolster its cloud service infrastructure with additional capacity and resiliency.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl