In a blog post, Microsoft stated:
We're seeing an ever-increasing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for Microsoft cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure. As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services. This robust, global infrastructure will enable customers to more quickly and reliably store, manage, transmit and access their data in the Microsoft Cloud.
The over 4,100 mile cable will stretch from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain and will have eight fiber pairs that can handle as much as 160Tbps of data. Microsoft and Facebook are partnering with Telxius, Telefónica's telecommunications infrastructure company, on the contruction of "MAREA" and Telxius will operate the cable once it is completed.
Construction is slated to begin in August 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in October 2017. Neither Microsoft nor Facebook revealed how much money they are spending on this cable project.