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Microsoft, Facebook to Build Undersea Data Cable across Atlantic

  • VOA News

FILE - Microsoft Corporation and Facebook Inc. plan to build an undersea cable to meet growing demand for high-speed online services.

FILE - Microsoft Corporation and Facebook Inc. plan to build an undersea cable to meet growing demand for high-speed online services.

Microsoft Corporation and Facebook Inc. have agreed to build an undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet the growing demand for high-speed online and "cloud" services.

Microsoft and Facebook announced the move Thursday, saying the 6,600-kilometer "MAREA" cable, named for the Spanish word for "tide," will stretch from the U.S. East Coast state of Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. From Spain, the cable would link to hubs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and other parts of Europe.

The companies said construction of the cable will begin in August and finish by October 2017. The cable is expected to carry up to 160 terabits of bandwidth per second, about 16 million times the bandwidth of a U.S. home internet connection.

Their announcement comes nearly two years after Google announced a similar deal with five Asian companies to develop a trans-Pacific cable network connecting the U.S. with Japan.

Underwater data centers are seen as a possibility for storing and managing huge amounts of data while using marine energy resources to keep the data centers cool.

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