In a bid to fulfil the insatiable demand for high-speed cloud and online services, tech titans Microsoft and Facebook are together building a 6,600 kilometer underwater cable across the Atlantic Ocean.
Dubbed "MAREA", Spanish for “tide”, the cable will carry 60 terabits of data per second. The cable's speed is expected to be 16 million times faster than the bandwidth of the average home internet connection.
Construction of the cable, which is the first to connect the United States with southern Europe, is set to begin in August this year and is expected to be completed by October 2017.
Najam Ahmad, Facebook’s vice president of network engineering, said in a blog post: "If you look at the cable systems across the Atlantic, a majority land in the Northeast somewhere. This gives us so many more options."
MAREA will be operated and managed by Telefonica SA's telecoms infrastructure unit Telxius.
In 2014, Google joined forces with five Asian telecoms giants to invest $300m in building Faster, the world’s fastest trans-Pacific submarine cable connecting the United States to Japan.