MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED plans to invest in undersea fibre cables to connect data centres in North America with similar facilities in Ireland, as the firm looks to take on Amazon and Google.
David Crowley, managing director of network enablement at Microsoft, said in a blog post: "Over the past nine months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fibre capacity by engaging in fibre partnerships that span multiple oceans and continents. And today, our connections across the Atlantic and Pacific just got stronger."
Microsoft has formed a partnership with Hibernia and Aqua Comms, each of which will provide a cable to connect Microsoft's data centres in North America and Ireland.
Reaffirming Microsoft's commitment to the cloud, the company said that the underwater cables will help to deliver data at higher speeds, with higher capacity and lower latency.
Microsoft also plans to hook up with sites in Asia, and has formed a consortium with China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom and KT Corporation. TE SubCom will supply the cable for the New Cross Pacific Cable Network.
Microsoft claimed that, as well as delivering more data at faster speeds, the investment will help the firm to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google on cloud costs, and "create jobs and spur local economies".
Crowley added: "When we look to the future with these investments, we believe our customers will see that Microsoft is pulling together all the components necessary to make its cloud services the most reliable, accessible and secure.
"Competition in the cloud and infrastructure space continues to heat up. But it’s not a battle that will be won on just cloud or infrastructure alone, but instead on holistic innovation and providing value to customers from the 'sea to the sky'."
Microsoft isn't alone in undersea cable investment. Google threw $300m at a 'Faster' Trans-Pacific cable last year that will link Japan and the west coast of the US to improve global internet connectivity. µ
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