Ultra-High-Speed Subsea Cable is High-Tech Gold

City of VB Seal
City of Virginia Beach
City Manager’s Office
Communications Office
2401 Courthouse Drive, Room 220
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 385-4679 (Office)
(757) 385-5665 (Fax)    TTY:  711


May 27, 2016                  


Julie Hill, (757 385-4436, jhill@vbgov.com

Marc Davis, (757) 385-4308, maadavis@vbgov.com

Ultra-High-Speed Subsea Cable is High-Tech Gold

The first transoceanic fiber cable station in the Mid-Atlantic will be in Virginia Beach. “Having Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica in our city is an exciting development. It helps us continue our mission of becoming one of the most connected cities in the world,” said City Councilman Ben Davenport, chairman of the Virginia Beach Broadband Taskforce.

Microsoft and Facebook – partnering with Telefónica – have chosen the city as the landing point for a new state-of-the-art subsea cable across the Atlantic from Europe called “MAREA”. MAREA is expected to accelerate the development of the next-generation of Internet infrastructure and support the explosion of data consumption and rapid growth of cloud and online services. Microsoft and Facebook have designed MAREA to be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic.

To facilitate the project, the Virginia Beach Development Authority approved on May 17 the sale of 3.5 acres in Corporate Landing Business Park to Telefónica to build a 20,000- to 23,000-square-foot data center.

Virginia Beach is partnering with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) to build a robust fiber and conduit infrastructure to support the cable landing station at Corporate Landing. MBC owns and operates a fiber network in southern Virginia that will be used to establish fiber routes from Virginia Beach to key data center interconnection points in southern and northern Virginia.

“Our core mission is to promote economic development through access to advanced fiber optic networks” said Tad Deriso, president & CEO of MBC. “The new subsea fiber routes to South America, Europe and beyond gives the state of Virginia and Virginia Beach a substantial competitive advantage on the world stage when it comes to promoting and recruiting technology businesses to invest in our regions.”

Matt Arvay, the city’s chief information officer, said, “This will be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic and the first to connect the United States to southern Europe.  It’s great to know that global innovators such as these have selected Virginia Beach as the landing for the next generation infrastructure of the Internet. We look forward to the endless possibilities that these collaborations hold for the future of Virginia Beach.”

Corporate Landing is a large business center in the eastern part of Virginia Beach, with 179 acres available for development. Warren Harris, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, said the trans-Atlantic cable could spur more international investment in Virginia Beach.

“High-tech businesses have big data needs,” Harris said. “Our new health care and biotech hub in Princess Anne Commons is poised to attract major researchers and health care companies. But before they will come, they need a super-fast and highly-reliable Internet connection. This project is exactly what’s needed to boost Virginia Beach’s growing biomed and technology industries.”

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Crowdsourcing Initiative to Map Broadband Access in Virginia

VA Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe

Date: May 24, 2016

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces Crowdsourcing Initiative to Map Broadband Access in Virginia

~ RUOnlineVA will engage citizens and businesses in identifying areas with no broadband connectivity ~

BOYCE – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today a new statewide initiative to better understand where Virginia has the largest gaps in broadband coverage. The Governor announced the initiative at a ceremony to sign House Bill 912, which clarifies and improves the process for installing communications infrastructure, benefiting rural communities. The new initiative, RUOnlineVA, provides a platform for Virginia residents and businesses to notify the Commonwealth whether or not they have access to broadband Internet connections.

RUOnlineVA is a key component of the Governor’s overall strategy to increase connectivity throughout the Commonwealth. House Bill 912 makes it easier to put telecommunications infrastructure in the rights-of-way for state-maintained roads. In addition to these components, the Governor’s budget includes $2.5 million for the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative, which provides funding for infrastructure expansion in unserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Speaking at today’s event, Governor McAuliffe said, “Broadband has become as essential as any utility for maintaining a high quality of life in our communities and meeting our economic and workforce development goals. Yet too many Virginia communities lack access to reliable, fast and affordable Internet connections. RUOnlineVa is an important way for the Commonwealth to engage citizens and the private sector in fully understanding the problem and working to find solutions.”

“This initiative gives citizens and businesses the opportunity to have a direct impact on the future of broadband in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “By identifying where the greatest demand is, RUOnlineVA will set a foundation for state-level broadband strategies and policies that will help get broadband to every part of Virginia.”

“A 21st Century economy requires high-quality broadband infrastructure,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “The initiatives that we are announcing today will help Virginia in its quest to ensure that every region is equipped with the broadband infrastructure necessary for businesses to operate and create jobs.”

RUOnlineVA, which launches today and will run through early August, will leverage an online demand capture tool created by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT). Virginia residents in need of Internet service are asked to log onto RUOnline.virginia.gov or call (877) 969-6685 and answer a few simple questions regarding where they live and what level of connectivity they have. Responses will be aggregated, mapped, and shared with policy makers and the public to stimulate broadband policy and funding discussions throughout the remainder of the administration.

RUOnlineVA is led by CIT in partnership with CGIT and is supported by Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Jackson, Secretary Jones, Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), Virginia Municipal League (VML), Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions (VAPDC), Virginia Rural Center, Virginia Telecommunications Industry Association (VTIA), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Department of Education (DOE), Library of Virginia, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC), and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC).

Beginning June 1, if you are in need of Internet service and would like to log your demand, visit RUOnline.virginia.gov. If you are unable to access the website at home, you can visit your local library or call toll free at (877) 969-6685.


To view the published press release, please visit our website: http://1.usa.gov/245Rxtd

Elliot Meyer
Press Assistant
Office of Governor Terence R. McAuliffe
Direct: (804) 786-4401
General: (804) 786-2211