Tech firms and lawmakers celebrate new trans-Atlantic cable

The route of the MAREA submarine cable funded by Microsoft and Facebook

Tech firms and lawmakers celebrate new trans-Atlantic cable

Marea will help Microsoft to meet customer demand in offering reliable, high-speed connections for its various cloud services, including Bing, Azure, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and more.

The cable is named Marea, which is Spanish "tide". According to the developers, situating the cable many miles south of the current connection points on both continents helps safeguard against natural disasters or other major events disrupting connectivity across the Atlantic.

The cable has been built with an open framework in mind and is interoperable with a variety of networking equipment, it can therefore grow and evolve with technology, in line with future demand and user needs.

At more than 4,000 miles (6,600 kilometers) long and nearly 10.25 million pounds (4.65 million kilograms) - or about the weight of 34 blue whales - the Marea cable is a feat of engineering, collaboration and innovation.

Unlike other cable systems which land in NY or New Jersey, Marea connects the US State of Virgina, and Spain in Europe, and can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second.

It took two years to complete the project, which is three times faster than normal. The cable can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second.

By landing in Bilbao, the companies also expect Marea to improve network connectivity into other regions such as Africa, Middle East and Asia. So everybody needs to be connected with a high-volume, high-bandwidth infrastructure.

We will livestream the celebration from Williamsburg, Virginia, at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday (recorded playback will be available).

According to Microsoft, Marea is the highest-capacity connection of more than a dozen trans-Atlantic subsea cables. We hope you'll join us online as well to explore our photos, videos and interactive multimedia features about the construction of the Marea subsea cable.

Ahmad continued: "Obviously, connectivity is one part of achieving that goal".

That's why today we're also announcing Azure Availability Zones, our latest infrastructure service, which increases Azure's resiliency capabilities, broadens customer options for business continuity and enables customers to deliver highly available applications and cloud services around the world.

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