- Facebook and Microsoft announced plans Thursday to build a new subsea cable system across the Atlantic.
- The companies are working to develop the "next-generation of Internet infrastructure," benefiting both cloud and online services customers for Microsoft and Facebook.
- Construction is set to start in August and continue through October 2017.
Cables crossing the ocean are nothing new, but Facebook and Microsoft are working to increase the infrastructure's data transmission capacity. Microsoft can appeal to its enterprise cloud customers with high speed and "low-latency" transatlantic connectivity.
The new cable, called MAREA, will be the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic, according to a news release, and is designed to keep up with the vast amounts of data consumed by consumers and businesses.
MAREA will connect data hubs in Northern Virginia and Bilbao, Spain, according to the announcement. Telefónica's telecommunications infrastructure company, Telxius, will operate and manage the cable systems.
The cable's design also employs an open architecture, working to lower costs and allow for easy equipment upgrades, the companies said.
"By creating a vendor-agnostic design with Microsoft and Telxius, we can choose the hardware and software that best serves the system and ultimately increase the pace of innovation," said Najam Ahmad, vice president of network engineering at Facebook. "We want to do more of these projects in this manner—allowing us to move fast with more collaboration. We think this is how most subsea cable systems will be built in the future."