Virginia Beach Development Authority Approves Sale of Land to Telefónica for Transoceanic Fiber Communications

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

​Virginia Beach Development Authority approved the sale of a 3.5-acre site in Corporate Landing to Telefónica International Wholesale Services USA, Inc. for $735,000. Telefónica will build a 20,000 to 23,000-square-foot data center that will house the first transoceanic fiber cable station in the Mid-Atlantic. The fiber cables will connect Brazil to North America at the installation planned in Virginia Beach. 

Fiber cables transfer signals through colors and pulses of light, which are encoded and decoded at either end by transmitters and converters. The signals are then interpreted by computers. Transoceanic cables receive and transmit signals at regular intervals to avoid distortion and data loss. There are dozens of fiber lines in the ocean, and this will be a significant boost for speed and data transmission for the Hampton Roads region and beyond.

Telefónica officially announced the deployment of BRUSA, a new submarine cable nearly 11,000 km in length linking Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (Brazil) with San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (USA) in March. The cable is expected to begin operations in early 2018 reinforcing Telefónica's infrastructure leadership in the Americas.

BRUSA will support ultrafast transmission capacity and increase end-to-end connectivity and the availability of ultrahigh-speed broadband services.

"This project significantly advances Virginia Beach's potential for future projects of this kind," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "These companies cluster, and we plan to leverage the Telefónica announcement to bring more data centers to the City. Additionally, we anticipate even more interest because the stronger telecom infrastructure will have great appeal to businesses that require big data."

This new infrastructure will improve communication reliability and deliver enhanced resilience by increasing the number of USA landing points, overall network performance and end-to-end security. BRUSA will also provide one of the lowest latency communication links between the two large economies, Brazil and USA, and it will offer a greater flexibility and scalability than previously deployed systems.

Virginia Beach began its technology infrastructure improvement program in 2015 to improve services to the residents by interconnecting government facilities with their own fiber optic network, while looking for opportunities to leverage the additional capacity for economic development.

"Being the first transoceanic fiber cable station in the Mid-Atlantic is a differentiator for the City of Virginia Beach," said Virginia Beach Chief Information Officer Matt Arvay. "Because we are progressive in our modernization efforts, we were fully prepared for this opportunity. As cities compete to attract new businesses, the communications infrastructure is a key component, and this puts Virginia Beach in the telecommunications conversation globally."

The new submarine cable reinforces Telefónica's ambition to provide a more cost-effective and reliable service to Telefónica companies as well as other telecom operators and content providers, allowing Telefónica to seize the growth opportunities of the global wholesale market.

BRUSA will become part of Telxius, the global company recently created by Telefónica to best optimise its infrastructure asset portfolio, and that will gradually integrate certain of these assets including part of its tower and submarine fiber optic cable networks.

Telefónica's global fiber optic network consists of more than 65,000 km (of which 31,000 km is proprietary submarine fiber optic cable) connecting the U.S., the Americas and Europe. Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies with a significant presence in 21 countries and more than 322 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy. Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4,975,199,197 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in London, New York, Lima and Buenos Aires.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit

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