Microsoft and Facebook recently announced plans to build MAREA – a new, 6,600km state-of-the art subsea cable across the Atlantic to help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services for both companies and their customers. It will also be the first subsea cable system to connect the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The construction of MAREA which will feature eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tbps will commence in August 2016 with completion expected in October 2017. The new submarine cable system is to be operated and managed by Telxius, Telefónica’s telecommunications infrastructure company. Telxius will serve as the operator of the system and sell capacity as part of their wholesale infrastructure business.
Microsoft in a blog post wrote that, "We’re seeing an ever-increasing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for Microsoft cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure. As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services. This robust, global infrastructure will enable customers to more quickly and reliably store, manage, transmit and access their data in the Microsoft Cloud."
As one of the largest cloud operators in the world, Microsoft said that it has invested more than $15 billion (USD) in building a resilient cloud infrastructure and cloud services that are highly available and highly secure while lowering overall costs.