According to Microsoft,  the construction of 160Tbps Marea cable system has been completed as of September 21, 2017. Marea cable system is planned to be operational in early 2018. Construction of Marea started in August 2016, from design through construction, Marea was completed in less than two years.

In May 2016, Microsoft and Facebook partnered on the development, design and implementation of the 4,000-mile-long Marea subsea cable connecting Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain. Telxius, a subsidiary of telecom provider Telefónica, joined later as the third partner to manage the construction process and operate the Marea cable system.

Marea means “tide” in Spanish.  Marea cable system is the first subsea cable connecting Virginia and Spain.

Marea cable runs along a route south of existing transatlantic cable systems. Being physically separate from the other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for customers in the United States, Europe and beyond.

The Marea cable is featured as  an open cable, allowing it to evolve with technology, ensuring the highest performance for users now and well into the future, even as the global population of internet users grows. 

In a summary, here are some key features of the Merea cable system:

  • Cable length: 6,600 km ( about 4,000 miles ).
  • Landing sites:  Virginia Beach (US) and Sopelana/Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain.
  • Marea is the first new cable system built south of the North Atlantic since 1999.
  • Marea is the first transatlantic cable landing in Virginia Beach and Sopelana/Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain.
  • Marea is the highest-capacity transatlantic cable, with 8 fiber pairs and initial estimated design capacity of 160T Tbps.
  • Marea is completed in less than two years.
  • Marea improves the network resiliency across the Atlantic Ocean.