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02 Feb
Highest Capacity Transatlantic Cable Completed Highest Capacity Transatlantic Cable Completed

Highest Capacity Transatlantic Cable Completed

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As global communication channels handle more and more data, whether video uploads or internet searches, the subsea networks that span Earth play an increasingly vital role.

Perhaps no other time was that made more painfully obvious than when Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast of the United States during October 2012. As a result of the superstorm, internet, wireless, and phone services were shut down for several days. Flooding interrupted connectivity by disabling servers. Electronic trading and online media services were affected, as were transatlantic communications linking a number of the world's largest economies.

Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division, said in a press release, “It was a major disruption. The entire network between North America and Europe was isolated for a number of hours. For us, the storm brought to light a potential challenge in the consolidation of transatlantic cables that all landed in New York and New Jersey.”

Hoping to avoid the possibility that a subsequent weather event could affect the critical communication line across the Atlantic, Microsoft and Facebook worked on a solution that could prove more resilient and reliable.

The two companies joined forces to create Marea (Spanish for "tide"), said to be the first subsea cable linking Bilbao, Spain, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. The cable has been intentionally situated south of current connection locations on both locations in order to protect against events that could potentially disrupt connectivity.

Marea also boasts the highest capacity of any subsea Atlantic cable, carrying up to 160 terabits of data every second. That's expected to help handle increased demand, particularly since subsea Atlantic cables already carry 55% more data than trans-Pacific ones.

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Read 1303 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 January 2019 07:54
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Website: www.jimlillie.com
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