Facebook and Microsoft are working together on an unusual project. The two tech behemoths want to bury a 6,600 km cable deep under the Atlantic Ocean, stretching all the way from Virginia to Spain.
The companies deal with a tremendous amount of data every day, whether it’s showing photos to Facebook’s 1.6 billion users, or loading documents stored in Microsoft’s cloud services. Instead of solely relying on telecom companies for bandwidth, they’re taking matters into their own hands.
Called MAREA, Spanish for “tide,” the cable will offer speeds of up to 160 terabytes per second, making it the highest capacity cable running this route, according to the companies.
It’s not the first time consumer tech companies have branched out into infrastructure. Google (GOOG) has been busy building its Google Fiber business to bring broadband connections to U.S. cities. Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Google are working on experimental tools like giant balloons and laser-equipped drones to bring internet to underserved locations. Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) has multiple other investments in subsea and land fiber connections.