Since, last few years, Facebook and Microsoft have been collaboratively working on the same project with a common motive of providing access to data and connected services from the cloud, as most of our data reside in the cloud. This goal is being achieved by making use of submarine cables that are set on ocean floors, thousands of feet below sea level, that will provide internet connectivity.
Already, such techniques have been used since the 1800s for telegraph systems. However, the technology to set up the submarine cables and facilitate connectivity has been enhanced as it is now possible to not only transmit simple text messages but also to transmit 200 compressed copies of Wikipedia per second.
For the Marea Project, the two foregoing companies have joined hands with Spanish telecom infrastructure firm Telxius to set up an undersea cable between Virginia Beach in the US and Bilbao, Spain, to transmit data at a rate of 160 terabits per second at a distance of 6,600 kilometers.
According to Microsoft, this cable is the most technologically advanced one of the lot and is the highest-capacity cable in the world; it can be upgraded to support higher bandwidth in the future.
But here, one major question arises is why Facebook and Microsoft need to set up a submarine cable? The answer is simple. They both need to provide reliable services to their users at a good rate, and problems will even increase when more billions of people are engrossed in using the internet.
There is a huge amount of data that is to be managed as both the companies provide several apps, and in order to deliver the quality of service at a constant rate, the companies are used to running and managing their own infrastructure. In a story from when the project was announced last year, Wired Pointed to research firm Telegeography’s finding that more than two-thirds of the digital data crossing the Atlantic traveled on privately managed networks.
Including this, at present, there are more than 420 undersea cables bridging computers and networks over the planet. The physical structure has been completed just a year before, and the cables will be fully functional by next year.
If you are interested, then you can watch a full video on Vox where it gives a detailed description of the map of these cables. Also, Huawei Marine Networks have created an interactive map.