Heads up, sea life. There’s something new in the ocean. Humanity’s deep need for fast-streaming video has inspired Facebook to team up with Microsoft to unspool a 4,000-mile-long fiber optic cable across the ocean, linking Virginia Beach, Virginia, with Bilbao, Spain. The cable is called Marea, Spanish for “tide,” and can transmit 160 terabits of data per second, the equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at the same time. It’s 16 million times faster than an average home Internet connection and will be operational in early 2018.
“Marea comes at a critical time,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.”