How the undersea cables connect the world?

29th August 2022


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Sending a message or an email takes just a few seconds. With a click of a button, it is possible to connect with any website. Even though the internet functionality looks so simple, it is actually quite complicated. The world is connected with the help of approximately 750,000 miles of submarine cables. In total, there are around 380 underwater cables in the world. Therefore, even though it looks like the internet is on the cloud, it is buried deep inside the ocean. Submarine cable plays a critical role in the flow of network data globally.

It carries 99% of all the international communications traffic, including data, video and voice. Previously, these submarine cables were taken by telecom carriers. However, now prominent companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google have also started investing heavily in it. Such investment is essential to enhance the internet speed, which can be tested on Google Fiber, and improve network connectivity. 

How Do Fiber Optic Cables Work?

Fiber optic cables placed under the sea are extremely helpful in transferring large amounts of data at a super-fast speed. Use Speed Test to check the downloading and upload speed to find how fast your internet is. We know that it transfers data at a super fast speed, but how does it manage to do so? It increases the data speed by converting data like a video into light, and then this light is transported through fr optic cables. Just before it is about to reach the destination, the light is converted back to the video. 

The process behind this is highly complicated, and it took many years to reach this level of sophistication. The world is witnessing a massive growth in internet and cloud services. This growth further drives the need for more investment in building and expanding the subsea network capacity.

Mostly, the undersea cables are laid deep down against the flat seabed, which protects it from friction against rock and other disturbances. The deeper the undersea cables, the better because the undersea cable stays there. However, laying an undersea cable near shore becomes a difficult task. 

How Safe Are The Underwater Cables?

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused the first significant blow to the underwater cables by knocking down several vital exchanges. The damage occurred in the undersea cable linking Europe and North America. The damage caused a major disruption. However, it was a natural disaster, but most of the undersea cable damage is caused by human activities through fishing nets, ships’ anchors and trawling. In fact, two-thirds of the damage to the undersea cable is caused by human activities. 

However, even though the undersea cables are sometimes damaged, the world does not come to know about their failure because the undersea cables spread their data across multiple routers. As a result, if one route fails, the other router will carry on with its job, and the customers are never truly connected from accessing their data. The entire system of undersea cables is designed intelligently while keeping the failures that can occur in mind.

Can Undersea Cables Be Spied On?

The undersea cable helps to assist 99% of the world's communication. Therefore, it is a treasure house of data and has been exploited before during the Cold War. The secret surveillance carried out by US submarines to intercept the data of Soviet cables lasted for a decade. However, tapping the undersea cable with the current technology is not an easy task. At the same time, tapping it is not an impossible task. It is easier to tap the cable connecting to the land, but it cannot be done just by anyone because it requires sophisticated tools and equipment. Further, the chances of getting electrocuted are high because the copper cable transmits 10,000 volts. 

However, now and then, there are speculations across the news citing that undersea cables are being spied upon. 

Not only laying down the undersea cables is an extreme task, but even maintaining it and saving it from illegal activities is also a massive task. Even though it is easy for us to connect with anyone over the internet, the process that makes it truly possible is super complicated and extremely tough. However, with technological advancement, many prominent companies are taking care of this issue for good.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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