The tech giants Microsoft and Facebook have announced that they will lay an underwater cable through the Atlantic Ocean in order to improve internet connections between Europe and the United States.

The “Marea” cable will have an operating capacity of approximately 160 terabytes per second, a speed that is around 16 million times faster than a standard home connection, making the mega cable the fastest connection in existence.

“As the world is increasingly moving toward a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft continues to invest in our cloud infrastructure to meet current and future growing global demand for our more than 200 cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and the Microsoft Azure platform,” said Christian Belady, General Manager, Datacenter Strategy, Planning & Development, Microsoft Corp.

Facebook and Microsoft to Connect Spain and the United States With Mega Cable

“Facebook wants to make it possible for people to have deep connections and shared experiences with the people who matter to them most — anywhere in the world, and at any time,” said Najam Ahmad, Vice President of Network Engineering at Facebook.

Ahmad added that “We’re always evaluating new technologies and systems in order to provide the best connectivity possible. 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. 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.”

The laying of the cable will start in August 2016, with completion expected in October 2017. The Marea cable will stretch 6,600 kilometers and connect the US to Europe via Bilbao, Spain and Virginia Beach in the US.

The tech companies are working with Telefonica’s, Telxius to build the system. Telxius will operate the system and sell capacity to third parties.

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