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posted by CoolHand on Friday May 27 2016, @06:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
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.


Original Submission

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Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday May 27 2016, @06:25PM

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday May 27 2016, @06:25PM (#351712)

    and route around net neutrality rules.

    What we need now is a way to boycott certain IP routes...

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday May 27 2016, @06:58PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday May 27 2016, @06:58PM (#351728) Journal

      Buy your own cable, and you can do whatever you want with it. Yeah, I'm defending the evil team of Microsoft+Facebook.

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    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday May 27 2016, @07:21PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 27 2016, @07:21PM (#351739)

      Not sure how it corrupts the spirit of the Internet, other than content providers operating transmission lines at the same time. If Microsoft and Facebook never say anything about what packets are preferred, and which aren't, they're may not be a problem.

      Of course it's all moot anyways...

      stretching 6,600 kilometers or more than 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, Va., to Bilbao, Spain

      The U.S has a penchant for completely disregarding the privacy of its citizens, and the EU has noticed. I would not be surprised if this was a huge waste of money when the EU forbids Microsoft from offering services to EU customers from servers in the U.S thereby making this cable pointless. It's been mentioned before, and the EU still reacts very much negatively to the U.S controlling the Internet and violating the privacy of EU citizens. The other side of the equation is equally damaging to the use of the cable; Foreign governments demanding that servers be local so *they* can violate privacy directly.

      More and more I see the Internet being carved up into jurisdictions making investment into infrastructure like this fairly pointless when administratively we preclude it.

      --
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @07:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @07:32PM (#351743)

        The purpose of this would be to serve the content from the US and eliminate subsidiaries in countries that would have privacy violations caused by hosting inside the country. If there is no local entity to sue a lot of the current issues go away. 160 Terabits could go a long ways towards allowing that. I'm not sure what the hop latency is, but it is probably low enough to game across given past MMO experience.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Friday May 27 2016, @09:01PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 27 2016, @09:01PM (#351763) Journal
          Of course, if the EU enters into the proposed trading pact, European countries could sue MS and Facebook, but only in a US court and there is no guessing which way that would go, is there? This looks more about US companies trying to get around European laws with no chance of any legal retribution.
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @03:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @03:48AM (#351877)

      I suspect a significant portion of this bandwidth will be used to shunt data between availability zones in their cloud data centers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @02:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @02:08PM (#351977)

      i think its to late now. Just wait until we have more than line into our homes, all on isolated networks, with their own proprietary flavor of TCPIP, so there wont be any ( easy ) getting around it.

      "The Google network" or "Microsoft's network"... Oh, you want to get to FaceBook too? Well, you need to have us run a line to you.. and no, you cant use that same computer you use on GoogleNet.. but you can lease one of our exclusive 'facebook tablets'.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @06:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @06:27PM (#351715)

    ...starting in nov 2017

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Friday May 27 2016, @06:29PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 27 2016, @06:29PM (#351716)

      They couldn't get it underwater to Utah, so Virginia is the second best choice.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @09:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @09:32PM (#351776)

      It took me a few moments to understand you're not talking about Alphabet (Google).

      Which got me thinking... Google is now officially an Alphabet agency :)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @07:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @07:04PM (#351731)

    we have places in USA that still can't get broadband.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @08:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @08:58PM (#351762)

      we have shit dsl where we are, AND 'lucky' to have that...
      less than a mile away, is a big, fat, juicy level three fiber optic trunk line that runs along a railroad track right of way...
      IF i had the technical chops, i would be sorely tempted to get with a couple handful of rural neighbors, and tap into that sucker...
      i bet dollars to donut holes that we could do a better job than the shit ISPs who have NOTHING in mind but to rip us off for as much as they can for as long as they can with ZERO effort or expense to actually improveour service...

      i despise ALL Big Media kompanies with a white-hot fury, fucking scumbags...

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by isostatic on Friday May 27 2016, @10:57PM

        by isostatic (365) on Friday May 27 2016, @10:57PM (#351817) Journal

        IF i had the technical chops, i would be sorely tempted to get with a couple handful of rural neighbors, and tap into that sucker...

        And then what? You've got a bunch of traffic running at hundereds of gigabits a second that's all mpls tagged. You expecting DHCP to give you an address?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @04:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @04:30PM (#352004)

      Broadband overland requires property rights and/or right-of-way. The ocean has no such problem. The cable is not the expensive part of laying a cable.

  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Friday May 27 2016, @09:08PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday May 27 2016, @09:08PM (#351770)

    Why Virginia->Bilbao and not Maine? It's quite a bit shorter....

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @10:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27 2016, @10:56PM (#351816)

      The reason stated in the article is to provide a cable that was not that far north since so many other cables are already running that far up.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @01:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28 2016, @01:33AM (#351841)

      The charitable answer is that many companies, including FB (and likely MS) have North Carolina data centers. After NYC, Charlotte NC is the second financial capital of America, and finance is data-intensive and wants nearby data centers to lower latency. Research Triangle is also there. VAB is just north of NC.

      The less charitable answer is that most of southeastern VA is a massive military and intelligence base with a few civilians living there to make it look like it has cities. The CIA have training grounds just north (Camp Peary) and south (Hertford Point), NATO headquarters for this side of the Atlantic is in Norfolk which is also the largest naval base in the world ever, NASA and the Air Force have a presence (Langley), etc. If you wanted to siphon up EU datacenter data and ship it to the US to be inspected by pretty much any part of the military/industrial complex, southeastern VA would have a some office staffed by the interested agency/company. Great place to build a collaborative work center for inspecting Windows Telemetry data or Azure server data or Office data or FB chat data or whatever you want from Europe, especially if EU data laws mean that it's all being stored over there (and thus needs to be hopped over to the US quickly for inspection).

      A third possibility: because Tata (yes, everyone's favorite outsource/H1B mill) operates the other cable running into Bilbao, Tata TGN-Western Europe, which goes directly to the UK. Maybe FB/MS got yet another really good deal going with Tata?