Microsoft Announces Investment in NCP and Other Subsea Cables

In a blog announcement by David Crowley, Managing Director of its Network Enablement, Microsoft announced on Monday its participation in the NCP Consortium to invest in the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network and build its first physical landing station in Hillsboro, Oregon, the US West Coast.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also unveiled its investment in the Hibernia Express cable to offer faster connectivity between Canada, Ireland and the U.K., and the AEConnect cable between Shirley, NY and the West Coast of Ireland (with backhaul connections to the U.K.)

It was also reported that Microsoft had been fully participated in the Seabras-1 cable system, being the foundational customer of Seaborn Networks who is constructing the Seabras-1 connecting New York and São Paulo.

Over the past 9 months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber partnerships that span multiple oceans and continents, and Microsoft’s connections across the Atlantic and Pacific has just got stronger. 

Microsoft is changing from a software company to a mobile-first, cloud-first company. “During Microsoft’s latest earnings we shared that the Commercial Cloud division, which includes Azure, Office 365 and other services, grew 106 percent, and as we expand our cloud services and global infrastructure, we need a strong subsea strategy to ensure our customers experience high availability access to their data. When we look to the future with these investments, we believe our customers will see that Microsoft is pulling together all the components necessary to make its cloud services the most reliable, accessible and secure.”Dave said.

The internet giants are accelerating their investment in global infrastructure, heating up competition in the cloud and infrastructure space.

According to open information, since the investment in Unity in 2008, it took Google more than 8 years to participate in four submarine cable systems, Unity, SJC, FASTER and the COTA. While it took Microsoft only 9 months to pick up four submarine cable systems, Seabras-1,  Hibernia Express, AEConnect and NCP. Another internet giant Facebook has also invested in APG cable, and most likely another transpacific cable behind a certain Asian operator.

Microsoft has followed Google and Facebook to compete in the battle for submarine cable, global infrastructure and capacity market.

Who will be the next?

Who will win the battle from the sea to the sky?

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