The cable has a capacity of 160 terabytes per second at start. It's the highest capacity transatlantic cable to this date.
This is an equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at the same time, or 16 million times faster than an average home internet connection, Microsoft claims.
For further possibilities, MAREA cables are an "open" design. What this means, as technology evolves and more people use the internet, the cables are upgradeable.
MAREA is 6,600 kilometers long, crossing the Atlantic Ocean at 17,000 feet below the surface, running from Virginia, U.S. to the city of Bilbao in Spain. It also provides a path to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, where the next billion internet users are anticipated to come from.
MAREA also stretches a route south of most existing transatlantic cables. According to Microsoft, the cable will provide resiliency for those living in the U.S. and Europe by safeguarding against natural disasters or other major events that might cause disruptions to connections.
For most of the route, the cable which is made up of eight pairs of fiber optic cables enclosed by copper, is mostly buried to protect from shipping traffic, usually in areas closer to the shore.
MAREA is a collaboration between Microsoft and Facebook, teaming up with telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius. The project benefits both Microsoft and Facebook as the two have data center operations in Virginia.
MAREA, is Spanish for "tide."
"MAREA comes at a critical time," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. "Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the U.S. and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase."
In a blog post, Microsoft said the project was completed in September 2017.