Facebook to launch transatlantic subsea cable

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Facebook continues to invest in subsea cables (credit: Facebook/engineering.fb.com)

Facebook is to launch its first subsea cable connecting Europe to the U.S.

The social media giant announced its commitment during an Inside the Lab event in which its engineers shared some of the company’s latest developments in connectivity technologies.

The new cable is reportedly designed to provide 200 times more internet capacity than the transatlantic cables of the 2000s. Facebook has yet to confirm when the project will be completed, but it has selected a build partner in NEC Corporation. 

Earlier this year, NEC and subsidiary OCC Corporation completed full qualification of subsea repeaters and optical cable containing up to 24 fibre pairs (48 fibres). This development could allow cable owners like Facebook to construct subsea telecom cables with higher traffic capacity and lower cost-per-bit of the wet plant, in line with space division multiplexing (SDM) system architectures. 

Facebook’s latest subsea investment builds on other recent expansions, including a new segment of the existing 2Africa cable called 2Africa Pearls. This will connect Africa, Europe, and Asia and bring the total length of the 2Africa cable system to more than 45,000km. Facebook said that 2Africa Pearls will be the longest subsea cable system in the world.  

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