from the really-long-things dept.
Geekwire reports on a post on Microsoft's corporate blog in which plans for a transatlantic communications cable are announced. The cable will connect Bilbao in Spain to Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA. Construction is set to begin in August. The planned capacity of 160 Tbps would, according to the blog post, exceed that of any existing transatlantic cable. The project is to be a joint venture of Microsoft with Facebook, and is to be operated by the Telxius arm of Telefónica.
From the Geekwire article:
Microsoft and Facebook will place a cutting-edge undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean, stretching 6,600 kilometers or more than 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, Va., to Bilbao, Spain, capable of hurtling data under the ocean at speeds of 160 Terabits per second.
The companies say the new project, called Marea, will be the highest-capacity subsea cable ever placed across the Atlantic, the first to connect the U.S. to southern Europe. Construction will begin in August 2016, with completion scheduled for October 2017, the companies say.
"We're seeing an ever-increasing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for Microsoft cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure," said Microsoft's Frank Rey in a post announcing the plan.
The UK's most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the defence staff, said Britain and Nato needed to prioritise protecting the lines of communication. He said it would be an "immediately and potentially catastrophic" hit to the economy if they were cut or disrupted.
The cables criss-cross the seabed, connecting up countries and continents. [...] Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute defence think tank, Sir Stuart said the vulnerability of undersea lines posed a "new risk to our way of life".
Related: Brazil, Europe Direct Cable to avoid US spying
Undersea Cables Wiring the Earth
Spies Would Need SUPER POWERS to Tap Undersea Cables.
160 Tbps Transatlantic Cable Planned
Microsoft, Facebook, and Telxius Complete 160 Tb/s Atlantic Ocean Cable