Internet Over Oceans

 

Undersea cables are responsible for carrying 99 percent of all internet traffic, which includes the data for this video, Pokemon Go, and WhatsApp. To what end? The subaquatic wires that keep modern life running are constantly under attack by sharks. How exactly does data go across the internet between oceans? There are currently 493 active or under construction subsea internet cables crisscrossing the globe, according to the authoritative website for a submarine cable map. These cables range in length from 300 kilometers (km) to 6,600 km (km), with the Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan wire running under the black sea and the Maria cable connecting Virginia Beach in the United States with Bill Bow in northern Spain being the two longest cables.

The corporation is in the process of laying undersea data wires that will total 1.5 million kilometers. The typical cost of a transoceanic cable is estimated to be between $300 and $400 million by industry experts. This may seem like a lot of money given that these cables are not particularly thick, measuring about the same diameter as a garden hose. However, this price range accounts for multiple layers of protective thixotropic jelly surrounding the fiber optic core, multiple plastic sheaths, and copper wiring to power the thing. On average, these cables are capable of transporting 100 gigabytes per second.

How does so much data fit in thin channels? Dense wavelength division multiplexing is part of the answer. DWM lets data providers use more than one wavelength of light to transmit data optically. Stacking multiple wavelengths creates incredible data speeds. This happens at data center-like cable landing sites. Can you see the cables? False. Repeaters are placed every 70 to 100 kilometers along the seabed. These act as signal boosters over long distances. The cables' copper conductors carry up to 10,000 volts dc to power the repeaters. Cables are laid how? Specialized cable-laying ships coil them into huge drums.

The process of determining the optimal path across the ocean may take as much as a year's worth of time spent planning and charting. The presence of volcanoes, areas that are prone to earthquakes or mudslides, or areas that are frequently fished in by fisherman are all factors that make for undesirable placements for underwater cables. The captain has the option of severing the cable, tying it to a kid, and making a hasty retreat to karma seas in the event that the ship faces unfavorable weather conditions. as well as power outages on the wires are possible and do occur. Hurricane Sandy, which struck the United States in 2012, was responsible for knocking out numerous important transatlantic cables and affecting networks for several hours. In 2011, the earthquake that occurred in Fukushima, Japan, created interruptions of a similar nature. The vast majority of these disturbances, on the other hand, are the result of carelessness on the part of humans. Anchors that have become dislodged from ships or fishing nets that are located in close proximity to the coast are at a much greater danger from this kind of disturbance.

As a result, the likelihood that it will be carefully armor-plated increases the closer it is to the lander wire. Some are even dug into the seabed using plows that are pulled behind ships. Unbelievably, sharks have been seen chewing on one of Google's undersea cables. This is an awesome sight. 

The United States administration has often issued warnings about potentially hostile foreign countries, like as Russia or China, tampering with the cables. Everything that whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed in 2013 should be well known to the United States government at this point. This includes the National Security Agency's (NSA) willingness to eavesdrop on communications transmitted via fiber optics. The ramifications of underwater cables on geopolitics are another fascinating aspect of this topic. In December of 2017, the Australian government took action to stop the Chinese telecommunications and technology conglomerate Huawei from building a cable that would connect Australia and the Solomon Islands. There is a concern that China could utilize the link to obtain access to critical internal networks in Australia; hence, the question arises as to who actually owns these cables. That's a very intriguing point to bring up.

Historically, nations or quasi-national telecom carriers have paid for it. America has more than 230 000 kilometers of undersea cable. China Telecom is second. Frequent cables are owned by groups or consortia of up to 50 separate owners, including tech enterprises, local government agencies, and other organizations. While this strategy helps share initial costs, it's less helpful when anything goes wrong and nobody can agree who has to put on a wetsuit and fix it. As big tech realizes its expansion potential is constrained by the undersea cable network, Facebook, which owns over 100,000 kilometers of cables, has invested heavily in the infrastructure. Owns about as much as Amazon and has its own large private network connecting aws data centers across the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Mediterranean, Red Sea, and South China Sea.

For the time being, the tech giants prefer to portray these massive, environmentally disruptive infrastructure projects as an act of generosity on their part, but keep in mind that these are also shareholder companies, and they know full well that the only way they can continue to grow is by increasing the number of people online. Let me get this straight: what about starlink? Aren't we going to be able to use the internet wirelessly soon? As of currently, cable is the cheapest and most efficient way to eat enormous packets of data across tremendously great distances at a rate even usually bullish people can handle. Starlink is geared at those who don't currently have access to high-speed fiber, but who knows how that could change in a decade or two.

Right now, undersea cables are the way of the future. In the summer of this year, Google and Facebook launched a cooperative effort to develop an underwater cable dubbed Apricot. An Apricot-based network will connect Singapore, Japan and Guam with the Philippines and Taiwan by 2024. A Facebook-led group has just funded the longest subaquatic cable ever created, a 45 000 kilometer billion dollar monster called "to Africa" that will connect 33 countries.


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