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MAREA is a 6600 km (4000 mile) long transatlantic communications cable between Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States, and Bilbao, Spain, owned and funded by Microsoft and Facebook, and operated by Telxius, a subsidiary of the Spanish telecom company Telefónica.

It finished being laid across the Atlantic in September 2017 and began operation in February 2018.[1]

The cable weighs approximately 4.65 million kilograms,[2] and is composed of an eight fibre-optic thread bundle about the size of a garden hose.[3]

The cable is capable of 160 terabits per second transmission speed.[4] (8 fiber pairs * 25 DWDM channels * 400 Gbit/s per single carrier (16-QAM modulation) = 160 Tbit/s)

The name MAREA is Spanish for tide.[5][6]

Frank Rey, Director of Global Network Strategy for Microsoft's Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division, cited the service disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 as the impetus for the new cable.[2]


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  2. ^ a b Grossman, David (September 22, 2017). "Microsoft, Facebook, Complete Enormous Undersea Cable".
  3. ^ "Tech giants are building their own undersea fibre-optic networks". The Economist. 5 October 2017.
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