Facebook is getting ready to launch a new undersea internet cable that will connect the United States and Europe across the Atlantic.
The cable will have 24 fiber pairs and capacity of 500 terabits per second, which is roughly double the current record (held by Google’s Dunant cable).
Despite the fact that it is uncertain exactly where the new cable will connect and when it will be finished, NEC promises to provide much-needed extra capacity along a route that is expected to see a tremendous increase in traffic over the next decade or so.
Undersea internet connections
Since the late 1980s, submarine internet cables have existed. Since then, technology has advanced considerably.
The first underwater fiber optic cable (TAT-8), which was operational with just two operational fibers and a maximum capacity of 280Mb per second, is an example of how far fiber optic technology has progressed since the 1980s.
During a time of rapid growth in the 2000s, there was an additional number of submarine wires installed; however, available capacity was gradually depleted over time as new rigs were built to replace old ones.
A new era of cable initiatives is now underway, owing to a sharp increase in demand for web-based services and the number of connected devices.
“Subsea cables connect continents and are the backbone of the global internet,” explained Facebook. “Our first-ever transatlantic subsea cable system will provide 200x more internet capacity than the transatlantic cables of the 2000s.”
Facebook and other members of the notorious FAANG group operate several cables. Last month, for example, Facebook announced an extension to its 2Africa cable, making it the longest ever strung.
In August, Google was reported to be working with Facebook on a new cable system designed to improve network capacity and resilience in APAC.
Despite the fact that these cables, which take many years to construct and lay, will not be able to benefit from the higher capacity and redundancy until long after they are built, they will ensure that internet giants can continue to provide uninterrupted service as more people spend increasing amounts of time online.
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