Telefonica and Equinix partner on subsea cable improvements
Wed 9 May 2018
Telefonica’s infrastructure arm and Equinix are working on landing station projects for two of the world’s highest capacity internet cables.
Telxius, the infrastructure subsidiary of Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, is working with Equinix on cable landing station architecture in Virginia Beach, where the cables terminate.
The two subsea cables connect large parts of the Americas to each other, as well as Europe to the U.S., and are some of the most advanced and high-capacity cables of their type.
According to a blog post by Equinix director for ecosystem development Alex Vaxmonsky, the company is going ‘all-in’ on subsea cables. ‘The momentum behind the expansion of subsea cable systems shows no sign of abating,’ wrote Vaxmonsky. ‘We’re partnering on new projects and acquiring data centres that give our customers improved access to the expanding global subsea cable network.
‘But our most exciting contribution is the implementation of a disruptive design that upends the decades-long practice of terminating subsea cables inside Cable Landing Stations (CLSs) that are on the beach and distant from high-population metros and business users. With the next-generation design, the cables terminate inside an Equinix International Business Exchange data centre.’
Equinix has had an increasing focus on interconnection in recent years, and a large part of this is because of the ever-increasing level of data, on an international scale.
Vaxmonsky summarised the company focus on subsea connection, writing that ‘more data is being produced and processed than ever before, almost every byte of data that moves over the internet touches a subsea cable,’ and as this demand grows, so does the need for subsea cables.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also notes that $10 trillion (approx. £7.36 trillion) in transactional value goes through subsea cables every day. It is evidently big money, and with these cables connecting multiple major economies, including the U.S. data centre hub of Virginia, multiple European cities through its Spanish landing station, and the growing Brazilian market, it is likely that Equinix wants to collect its share of that cash.
The updates made to the cables, according to Equinix, represent ‘innovative design in subsea cable infrastructure.’ The two cables were first announced last year and are partially the result of a collaboration between Telxius, Microsoft and Facebook.