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Facebook and Microsoft to lay a highspeed undersea cable across the Atlantic

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Facebook and Microsoft to lay a highspeed undersea cable across the Atlantic

Called Marea, the cable will extend across 6,600 kilometres of ocean, from Virginia, US, to Bilbao, Spain. The construction of the cable will start in August this year, with completion expected in October 2017.

According to Microsoft’s press release, the new cable will support the company’s various cloud services in enabling faster and more reliable data transfer. Meanwhile live video and virtual reality are focus areas for Facebook, with both activities reguiring highspeed networking.

The Guardian points out that the project exemplifies a growing trend of technology companies taking on roles that traditionally belonged to public utilities or governments. Rather than using the connections operated by telecoms, the tech companies are increasingly building their own networking infrastructure.

Although other companies will be able to buy access to Marea, Facebook and Microsoft have premier access, which effectively gives them a private information highway across the Atlantic.

According to a telecommunications research firm Telegeography, more than two thirds of the digital data moving across the Atlantic is traveling on private networks, Wired reports.

While the networking infrastructure between the two continents is being strengthened, the policies regulating the transfer of data are still being developed. The EU–US data transfer agreement Privacy Shield is facing mounting criticism currently.

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Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-05-27 10:11

Author information

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