6,000 metres beneath the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, traversing live volcanoes, coral reefs and earthquake zones, lies an unassuming cable around 1.5 times the diameter of a garden hose.
Stretching 4,000 miles across from Virgina Beach in the US, to Bilbao in Spain however, the new Marea cable, which can carry information at blistering speeds, is exponentially more important than its appearance would suggest.
Dubbed Spanish for “tide”, Marea is capable of transferring data at a staggering 160Tbps. It’s so fast, in fact, that it’s capable of sending eight times the entirety of the US Library of Congress’ collection, in a single second.
Coming to fruition after Microsoft and Facebook agreed to partner on the development, Spanish telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius, a subsidiary of telecom provider Telefónica, joined as the third partner to manage the construction process and operate the cable.
With construction beginning in August 2016, Marea began its journey across the Atlantic approximately five months ago. The physical work to manufacture and lay the cable has now been completed, and it’s planned to be operational in early 2018.
From uploading photos, searching webpages, backing up files and more, most people are aware of the power and dependency we have on the internet – but few understand the crucial role played by the network of undersea cables that web across the globe, beneath our oceans.
The cable’s landing point in Bilbao provides a convenient path to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and its enormous bandwidth will help meet the increasing demand for internet and cloud services.
With nearly 1 million minutes of video estimated to cross the internet every single second by 2018, and the ever-growing importance and scope of big data, Marea has a new open design, with the future firmly in mind.
Unmatched in its capabilities, Marea can evolve with technology, ensuring the highest level of performance for users now and well into the future, as the global population of internet users grows. (Source: Microsoft)