Microsoft Logo, New York, July 28, 2015
A Microsoft logo is seen on a New York office building in this file photograph taken July 28, 2015. Reuters/Mike Segar

Facebook and Microsoft have agreed to jointly build a subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet growing demand for high-speed cloud and online services. The construction of the new Marea cable will begin in August, and it is expected to be finished in October 2017, the companies said in a statement Thursday.

The 4,100-mile cable, the first to connect the U.S. with southern Europe, will be operated and managed by Telefonica’s telecommunications infrastructure unit Telxius.

The cable is initially designed to carry 160 terabits of data per second, the companies said.

The move came almost two years after Google, which is now Alphabet, agreed with five Asian companies to invest about $300 million to develop and operate a trans-Pacific cable network connecting the U.S. to Japan.