Facebook and Microsoft are planing on laying a massive cable across the middle of the Atlantic.
Microsoft and Facebook are working with Telxius, Telefónica’s telecommunications infrastructure company, building upon their longstanding experience in subsea cables on this innovative new system. Telxius will serve as the operator of the system and sell capacity as part of their wholesale infrastructure business.
The giant underwater cable will stretch from Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, shuttling digital data across 6,600 kilometers of ocean. Providing up to 160 terabits per second of bandwidth—about 16 million times the bandwidth of your home Internet connection—it will allow the two tech titans to more efficiently move enormous amounts of information between the many computer data centers and network hubs that underpin their popular online services.
"In order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global internet infrastructure," Frank Rey, Microsoft's director of global network acquisition, said in a statement. "This marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the internet."
In addition to building its own undersea cable, Facebook is buying up what’s called “dark fiber”—unused terrestrial cables—so that it can control how its data moves from place to place and move it more efficiently.
Microsoft says its new project with Facebook provides interoperability with other networking equipment. "This new 'open' design brings significant benefits for customers: lower costs and easier equipment upgrades which leads to faster growth in bandwidth rates since the system can evolve at the pace of optical technology innovation," the company said in a statement.