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Undersea cables will soon come ashore in Myrtle Beach

A rendering of DC Blox's cable landing station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
DC Blox
A rendering of DC Blox's cable landing station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A new connection to the digital world is taking shape in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. An information technology company has opened a landing station for undersea data cables.

Landing stations are where undersea cables connect to the networks we use on our phones and computers. The Myrtle Beach station, operated by information technology company DC Blox, is the first in the Carolinas.

"DC Blox is connecting this facility to the world through our dark fiber network, which will run from this Myrtle Beach cable landing station through Charleston, through Augusta and ultimately into Atlanta," CEO Jeff Uphues said at a 2022 groundbreaking.

“Cable landing stations, generally speaking, are located more in the northern part on the East Coast,” DC Blox Vice President Bill Thomson told local news station WBTW earlier this year. “So the fact that we’ve got this location in Myrtle Beach is very unique, and it provides for the big communications providers and tech companies that are laying subsea. Cable provides what they consider diverse routes.”

The station's first cable, operated by Google, will run more than 9,000 miles to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Another, owned by Facebook parent company Meta, will connect Myrtle Beach and the Spanish city of Santander. Two more are in the works: One will run to other cities on the Eastern Seaboard, while a transatlantic cable will land in Portugal.

In addition to the cable landing station, DC Blox plans to build data centers in Charlotte, Raleigh and High Point.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.