Microsoft Buys Into US-Brazil Submarine Cable by Seaborn

Becomes ‘foundational customer’ with capacity purchase on future intercontinental link

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

September 8, 2014

1 Min Read
Seaborn’s Seabras-1 will provide the first ever direct fiber optic cable between São Paulo and New York. (Image: Seaborn Networks)

Microsoft has agreed to buy capacity on a fiber optic submarine cable a company called Seaborn Networks is building between U.S. and Brazil.

Microsoft’s commitment assures the Seabras-1 cable system, in the works for several years, will be built. Once completed, the capacity will enable Microsoft to provide higher-performance services in Brazil and the rest of Latin America.

Larry Schwartz, CEO of Seaborn, said Microsoft would be the “foundational customer” for the system. “With their full participation in the system, it is clear that Microsoft is highly committed to delivering the best cloud experience and infrastructure in Brazil and all of Latin America,” he said in a prepared statement.

The cable will link New York and São Paulo. Seaborn expects to complete it in 2016.

It will be the first cable system linking the two countries directly. Other submarine U.S.-Brazil links – there are about five – go through intermediary landing points in Bermuda and Caribbean islands.

Seabras-1 will be a six-fiber-pair system with maximum capacity of 60 Tbps. Earlier this month, Seaborn announced that it had secured agreements for backhaul connectivity from landing stations in New York and São Paulo.

Microsoft has been expanding its cloud services business aggressively, and Brazil is one of the world’s fastest-growing IT services markets. The company launched a brand new Brazil South availability region for its Azure cloud services in June.

Google, one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors in the cloud market, has also been investing in submarine cable capacity. The latest was Google’s participation in FASTER, a five-company effort to build a trans-Pacific cable system that will link major cities on the U.S. west coast to two coastal locations in Japan.

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