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Two of the world’s largest tech firms are joining forces to build a new subsea cable across the Atlantic.

Facebook and Microsoft have today announced their Marea project and said the cable will “help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services.”

Marea will feature eight fibre pairs, offer speeds of up to 160 terabytes per seconds and will be the first to connect the US to southern Europe – from Virginia to Bilbao

Construction of the cable is expected to commence in August and should be completed in October 2017.

“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,” Microsoft said in a statement.

“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.”

Marea will reportedly be the highest-capacity underwater cable to ever cross the Atlantic.

Microsoft and Facebook are working with Telxius, Telefónica’s telecommunications infrastructure company and the firm will manage and operate the new 6,600km submarine cable system.


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