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Microsoft, Facebook to build trans-Atlantic undersea cable

The 4,100-mile cable will have an estimated initial capacity of 160 terabits of data per second, the companies said.

The MAREA cable will have the highest capacity of any undersea cable in the Atlantic, the companies say.

Microsoft and Facebook are teaming up to build an undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet growing demand for high-speed online and cloud services.

The new "MAREA" cable is designed to have an estimated initial capacity of 160 terabits of data per second, the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic, the companies said in a statement Thursday. The cable will stretch 4,100 miles (6,600 kilometers) from the US' Virginia to Bilbao, Spain.

The MAREA cable has a new open design that will allow it to be interoperable with a variety of networking equipment, resulting in lower costs and easier equipment upgrades for customers, the companies said.

Construction of the cable will start in August 2016 and is expected to be completed in October 2017.

The effort comes about two years after Google partnered with five other companies to build a trans-Pacific cable system to connect the West Coast of the US with cities in Japan.

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