Microsoft, Facebook Partner to Create Transatlantic Fiber Cable

Microsoft and Facebook – partnering with Telefónica – have chosen Virginia Beach, Va., as the landing point for a new state-of-the-art subsea cable across the Atlantic from Europe called MAREA.

by Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) / May 31, 2016
A rendering of where the MAREA Cable will lie. Microsoft

(TNS) -- The first transoceanic fiber cable station in the Mid-Atlantic will be in Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach Broadband Taskforce said Friday in a news release.

“Having Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica in our city is an exciting development. It helps us continue our mission of becoming one of the most connected cities in the world,” City Councilman Ben Davenport, task force chairman said.

Microsoft and Facebook – partnering with Telefónica – have chosen the city as the landing point for a new state-of-the-art subsea cable across the Atlantic from Europe called MAREA.

Microsoft and Facebook have designed MAREA to be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic.

To facilitate the project, the Virginia Beach Development Authority approved on May 17 the sale of 3.5 acres in Corporate Landing Business Park to Telefónica to build a 20,000- to 23,000-square-foot data center.

Virginia Beach is partnering with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) to build a robust fiber and conduit infrastructure to support the cable landing station at Corporate Landing.

MBC owns and operates a fiber network in southern Virginia that will be used to establish fiber routes from Virginia Beach to key data center interconnection points in southern and northern Virginia.

“Our core mission is to promote economic development through access to advanced fiber optic networks” said Tad Deriso, president & CEO of MBC. “The new subsea fiber routes to South America, Europe and beyond gives the state of Virginia and Virginia Beach a substantial competitive advantage on the world stage when it comes to promoting and recruiting technology businesses to invest in our regions.”

Corporate Landing is a large business center in the eastern part of Virginia Beach, with 179 acres available for development. Warren Harris, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, said the trans-Atlantic cable could spur more international investment in Virginia Beach.

“High-tech businesses have big data needs,” Harris said. “Our new health-care and biotech hub in Princess Anne Commons is poised to attract major researchers and health-care companies.

But before they will come, they need a super-fast and highly reliable Internet connection. This project is exactly what’s needed to boost Virginia Beach’s growing biomed and technology industries.”

©2016 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.