back to article Microsoft springs for new undersea cables to link US, UK, Asia

Microsoft has invested in two new cables to connect its North American data centers with facilities in Ireland, and it says it will soon help build similar data networking links to Asia. "Over the past 9 months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes its probably needed for all the security patch bandwidth required for those running Linux on Azure....

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re; all the security patch bandwidth

        Yes, I just connected up a laptop that's not been used for about two months. Over a GB of Win 7 patches then rebooted into Ubuntu and got 350MB of patches. Make of that what you will.

        MS Office on Windows and Libre Office on Ubuntu. (It's a work lappy)

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      'm assuming that these links are being put in place to distribute various Linux ISOs

      OK, that's my keyboard gone. Thanks for the laugh :).

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm waiting for one of the usual munchkins to come along and say this is all about the NSA while claiming that Google's fibre is there purely to benefit mankind.

      1. phil dude

        's ok

        I got it.


      2. Crazy Operations Guy

        I would think that its about the NSA

        Specifically to keep them off their back. If they can control both ends, I wouldn't be surprised if they threw some encryption on top.

        Although I would find it hilarious if at some point Microsoft started twisting the NSA's balls by threatening to release patches for all the court-ordered back-doors...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Speaking of the Bill / Halo icon, how are you doing that? Its not in the list of usable icons...

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        " Speaking of the Bill / Halo icon, how are you doing that? Its not in the list of usable icons..."

        The validation form simply checks that a 'chosen' image exists, so if you manually manipulate the form, it will be <accepted even if the image name is one of the old ones rather than the listed current ones!

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Microsoft has invested

    i.e. they helped fund the cables. Not their private network.

    1. Tom Samplonius

      Re: Microsoft has invested

      "i.e. they helped fund the cables. Not their private network."

      Though, it is fairly common to sell specific strands to different parties. Or an IRU:

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    I guess if you brought the brown wire too close to the blue one, and vice-versa sparks would indeed fly.

    Then again, are those Microsoft and Google avatars?

  5. Kev99 Silver badge

    Let's see. They are laying cable that can carry 60 Tbps yet we're lucky to get 10Mbps on land. What am I missing here? AND, it's over COPPER!

    1. Tom Samplonius

      "...yet we're lucky to get 10Mbps on land. What am I missing here? AND, it's over COPPER!"

      Speak for yourself. I can get 850 Mbps. And that is measured via a third parties speed test site, that is routed out of the country and then back into the country. So that is pretty real world.

      Though it sucks that Rackspace's servers can only manage 350 Mbps.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more cables, the more submarine tap points.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      tap points

      Lucky Microsoft use IPSEC to secure anything sensitive then...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: tap points

        And who else do you think has a copy of the primary certificate

    2. hplasm

      The more cables, the more submarine tap points.

      Do not open the submarine tap.

      Water gets in.

    3. tony2heads

      I think that's what the dots in the ocean represent

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The more cables, the more submarine tap points."

      Why would you tap your own pipes?

  7. Paul J Turner


    It's all about Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM. Wouldn't want to mention having private global Skype aspirations and frighten the telco's, now would we?

    1. dogged

      Re: Sure...

      > Wouldn't want to mention having private global SkypeNameChosenToAvoidMurdochOwnedLawyers aspirations


  8. Neoc

    Meanwhile in Australia, according to Brisbane has no cable feeding to it. Every other sea-coast capital has a cable landing. *Darwin* has a cable landing. But we have to contend with horrible Telstra overland feeds.


    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Given Brisbane is built on a floodplain, you have undersea cables when it rains really hard.

  9. another_vulture

    10 Tbps/pair?

    Google has 6 pair and 60 Tbps. Does that match current practice (not labaratory stuff, but real deployments)? My knowledge is out of date. In the early days, we had 10 Gbps per lambda and 160 lambas (1.6 Tbps), and then 40 Gbps in 80 lambdas (3.2 Tbps), all in the C band. So what are we doing now? Faster lambdas (say, 100 Gbps)? more bits/Hz (different modulations)? Use of wavelengths outside of the C band?

    Going to 100 Gbps, you still need 100 lambdas. Squeezing them all into C band would be messy. Higher modulations would be "interesting," not in a good way, and going outside of C band would require some type of dual-band amplifiers since EDFAs only cover C band.

    I guess they could be using "cisco math" and calling 5 Tbps in each direction "10 Tbps". That might work with 50 lambdas of 100Gbps in C band without too much magic.

    1. another_vulture

      Re: 10 Tbps/pair? (yes)

      Answering my own questions. Its a sign of getting old when you are talking to yourself. The practical state of the art has advanced since I went to sleep about 10 years ago.

      Each fiber on Google's FASTER cable runs 100 lambas x 100 Gbps. The lambdas are at a 50 GHz spacing, and this made possible by using a modulation called DPQPSK to encode 4 "raw" bits/Hz and a FEC code (roughly rate 1/2) to get an encoded rate of 2 data bits/Hz. The optical C band supports up to 120 lambdas at this spacing.

      Microsoft is using the NCP cable. NCP uses all of the lambdas to achieve 120 x 100 Gbps.

      No magic math is involved. The cables get this simplex rate in each fiber.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 Tbps/pair?

      100Gb/s per lambda is pretty common stuff now days (I've commissioned a number of these systems) and 400 is starting to make its way into the market.

      You can get 88 lambdas in the C band if using a 50GHz fixed grid, but the latest systems support flex-grid with variable spacing, so higher numbers of lambdas are possible, depending on the mix of bit rates.

  10. veti Silver badge

    Somehow, I take Microsoft's plans a lot more seriously than Kim Dotcom's.

    So I assume New Zealand will have to wait another 40 years for decent bandwidth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, if you paid attention to the real world you'd be aware that there is a cable being laid between Sydney and Raglan in the near future (as in in-service next year) with a similar capacity to that which is being proposed in the article.

  11. Shane McCarrick


    Between Microsoft's and Google's cables landing here- Ireland has to have the highest rate of connectivity with the outside world, per head of population...... Not that I'm gloating- but a 250Mb connection for less than £30 is nice! However- the flipside of that coin is- I can video conference with the US or even South Africa- better than I can sustain pure data links from one side of Ireland to the other.......As for voice calls- I don't know if any of you have ever visited our scenic northwest- or Yeats country as the tourist board like to call it. Its a complete data black hole. Its quite interesting how every few hours, as the air pressure changes- you phone picks up sufficient signal to pull down text or e-mails- before going off the grid again, awaiting another weather change. Actually making phone calls involves waiting for the copper lines to be repaired after the latest weather related broken cables- or a hike up the local mountain to get line of sight with a mast 10-15 miles away- which curiously you can get a 1.5G/2G voice connection on (after a 30-40 minute vigorous hike, in wellies, and a rain coat..........) but not data........

    Connectivity is funny.

  12. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    from the "sea to the sky."

    ...carefull, Murdoch is in a litigious mood!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like