Va. Beach to become tech hub teaming up with giants like Microsoft, Facebook

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 19:18:10-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - News 3's Beverly Kidd sat down with Mayor Will Sessoms to talk everything Virginia Beach.

One of the most exciting developments lately is the transatlantic cables running from Europe to the resort city.

"It’s the fastest communication in the world.” It’s a big calling card and I’m very excited about it being in Va. Beach,” Sessoms said.

The two, soon to be three, cables will move big data fast. Facebook and Microsoft have already signed on. They’ve partnered with a Spanish company to build the Marea cable originating in Bilbao, Spain which just went online this month.

Sessoms explained, "The cables coming here provides jobs since the information will be delivered to Va. Beach. There’s a big facility already built where that will come in.”

These super-speed internet cables come in at Camp Pendleton at the south end of the resort area and go all the way to Corporate Landing Business Park off General booth Blvd., to the Hub where they connect to servers and computers.

This “carrier hotel” as its being called gives high capacity, consistent connectivity choices for companies like Facebook and many others. The bandwidth for the cables is 160 terabits per second, the fastest in the world.

The bandwidth power is so desirable, a second undersea cable, named the Brusa is already being laid to stretch from Rio de Janero in Brazil to Virginia Beach hoping to lure users like Snapchat, Uber, and IBM.

And the possibilities grow from there.

“Who needs to move information quickly? People in finance, people in securities. Things along those lines. So will they locate closer to that cable? My understanding it is a calling card for them," Sessoms said.

If that happens it would mean more jobs in addition to the 100 expected to work at the Hub at Corporate Center.

It’s not just big business that will benefit, officials working on this project said residents in Virginia can expect cheaper higher speed internet with faster downloading capabilities and seeing the spinning wheel of doom less often.

While tourism is the city’s bread and butter when it comes to keeping taxes low and quality of life high, the mayor said staying on top of business trends is imperative so that this generation and future generations have stable jobs.

“If we don’t stay progressive, and I do believe our city if progressive, and the day that we stop being that way, that’s the day that’s the day your children won’t come home, my children won’t come home," Sessoms said.