Facebook to build another US-Europe subsea cable

Facebook plans to build another subsea internet cable between Europe and the US. The “ultra-high performance” transatlantic cable will use 24 fibre-pair cable and repeaters that have a maximum transmission capacity of 500Tbps. This follows a March announcement to connect the US to Singapore and its role in a consortium to connect the African continent and Middle East region last year. Well over 90% of the world’s backbone internet data traffic travels via undersea cables. Web giants and cloud hyperscalers typically require that a region be served by at least three subsea cables before they will place a local data centre, due to the likelihood of cables being damaged by bad weather and ship’s anchors. Facebook this year announced new branches to the 2Africa cable that extend connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, and Angola. Its engineers are also exploring new ways to power subsea cables using floating buoys that can “deliver power to the repeaters from the middle of the ocean”. These could be powered by a “combination of wave energy converters and solar panels”.