The world is becoming a much smaller place. With help from the Internet, we can explore the far reaches of the planet, communicate with those in far-away countries and even order products that can be delivered next day. Whilst we reap the benefits, we don’t always appreciate the infrastructure that keeps the Internet running. As Facebook and Microsoft team up to establish a fibre optic network across the Atlantic, it’s hard to deny that the truly connected world is upon us.
Known as MAREA, the Spanish word for tide, this project is the latest in a number of big-budget internet infrastructure initiatives. Spanning 4,000 miles from the eastern state of Virginia to the west coast of Spain, MAREA is expected to enter service next year in collaborative efforts with Spanish Internet carrier, Telefónica. In a bid to lower costs, increase bandwidth and accommodate increased data usage, MAREA will open avenues for private and commercial use on both sides of the Atlantic.
Traditional telecommunications companies have struggled to make a profit as worldwide data costs have continued to decline over the last 15 years. This decline hasn’t been steep enough to impact the larger technology companies as they continue to transmit billions of bytes every day through their own data centres – an investment that comes with a substantially higher cost. Localising efforts around the busiest internet corridors has seen projects similar to MAREA over the last few years, connecting cities in European countries to East Asia and North and South America. Typically costed at an estimated $200m; these projects require regulatory approval due to cables crossing both domestically-controlled and international waters.
Telxius, Telefónica’s new infrastructure company, will manage the link although the data will remain under the ownership of Facebook and Microsoft with both tech giants having dedicated lines. As the physical connection opens up avenues for future applications, MAREA will help create more “resilient and reliable” connections for those already in place such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Xbox and Bing.
Similar projects have been in place for a number of years. Microsoft led the U.S. investment into New Cross Pacific Cabling which linked Hillsboro, Oregon, with Chongming, Nanhui, Lingang, Busan, Toucheng and Maruyama in China. Amazon recently joined the arena with their investment in Hawaiki cable which link Oregon with American Samoa, Hawaii, Sydney and New Zealand. Like we said, the world is becoming a much smaller place.
Whilst we can’t lay the cable, we can help with the solutions at each end. Our experience in the field can support a variety of applications in a number of vertical markets. As a Systems Integration partner for Dell OEM and the UK Premier Partner for Advantech, our portfolio includes the latest innovations from across the industrial IT space. To discuss your needs or for help transforming your idea into an industry-defining solution, call ECA today on +44 (0)118 929 4990.