Facebook and Microsoft have become the new favorite tag team of the internet. The two companies have joined hands and have built a new fiber optic cable that will be laid in the Atlantic Ocean. The project's name is Marea, and will stretch beyond 4,000 miles, sandwiched between Virginia and Spain. The cable has eight pairs of fiber optic strands making the cable the "highest capacity link across the Atlantic". 

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Credit: France-Presse

Najam Ahmed, Facebook's vice president of network engineering, said: "If you look at the cable systems across the Atlantic, a majority land in the Northeast somewhere. This gives us so many more options." This project would bode well for both Microsoft and Facebook due to the oncoming competition that Google poses as their own internet service provider. 

Facebook and Microsoft made an announcement together, saying that the undersea cable would lower costs, jack up bandwidth speeds and inject the strength needed to handle the loads of data that are being used around the world. They also highlighted cloud-storage on a large scale would be accommodated and the more personal internet usage like putting pictures up on social media. 

Affording trans-Atlantic undersea cabling has enabled American tech companies to jump into the internet service providing game and the world will see more of this as innovation in the industry occurs. Facebook is also working on hardware to connect to their internet solutions and have shown promise in that area this year. They need lightning-quick internet to power their virtual realm, or at least that's the rumor. 

Just how fast will the cable be transferring data? Here's the fact:

  • Bandwidth transfers of up to 160 terabits per second 
  • This would make the cable one of the largest, fastest transatlantic cables in the world

Construction will begin in August and will allegedly take a year to complete. Engineers from Spain's Telefónica SA will be assisting with the project. Facebook engineers say that other companies are set to utilize the area for internet cabling as well but they would be the first to do so. 

To  understand how undersea cables are laid and what kind of engineering occurs before laying cable, SEACOM explains: