Did You Know 99% Of Our Internet Comes From Underwater Cables In The Ocean?









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While we keep debating the benefits of cloud computing, only a few of us know that it’s actually the ocean that fuels our internet addiction. Thin cables that lie on the seafloor, connecting the world, transmit 99 percent of international data.
The importance of the cables can be seen in the map of cables that connect the world. The map shows 299 cables that are active, under construction, or planned to be completed by the end of 2016.
These underwater cables are generally preferred over satellite transmission because of their speed and reliability. They rarely fail, thanks to the incredibly high speed it offers and the backup routes available.

This brilliant vintage map comparing the map of trade routes in 1912 and map of submarine cables today is an example of how things have evolved.

1912


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Now

The submarine cables, get the massive investments required for companies that are looking to explore, what have now become, the ‘modern trade routes’.

Which is why a tech giant like Google invested $300 million in a trans-Pacific cable system to move their data faster. Even Facebook puts money into an Asian cable system.

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Submarine cables are not a new idea. It’s actually 150 years old!

Not much has changed in all these years. The ship carrying the cables moves along the ocean slowly unwinding the cables as they sink to the ocean floor. The SS Great Eastern was actually the first laying out a successful trans-Atlantic cable back in 1866. Back then it was used to transmit telegraph messages. From 1956, it started carrying telephone signals.
Modern cables in comparison are much thinner – about 3 inches across. At the deepest point in the Japan Trench, cables go as deep as 8,000 meters deep in the ocean. That’s the height of Mt.Everest!
An optical fiber looks something like this. Many fibers bundled within a larger shell protecting it.
The shell includes–
Polyethylene
Mylar tape
Stranded metal (steel) wires
Aluminum water barrier
Polycarbonate
Copper or aluminum tube
Petroleum jelly (this helps protect the cables from the water)
Optical fibers
These cables transmit videos, GIFs, information and articles like the one you’re reading right now. They are the reason we get to download and stream things in a matter of milliseconds. Incredible.
Source: indiatimes | 2





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