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8 Things you need to know about Submarine cables


Undersea fiber optic cables are carrying all transoceanic Internet data today, advancing from satellites which have been highly preferred in the past. Google and few other telecommunication giants are investing huge amount on undersea networking, connecting U.S. and Japan with 9,000 KM fiber optic cable and the operation is due to start in the coming year.

The undersea network is schedule to carry 60 terabits per second, that’s almost 10 million times quicker than standard cable.

We looked around the web to collect some fascinating facts about undersea cables.

  • About 99 percent of internet data is sent through submarine cables. The network of 300 cables connect the world, although some remote areas and islands are still depended on satellite systems.
  • Despite sharks have been blamed so many times to disrupt undersea cables, but there is very little evidence sharks breaking down internet. Instead, anchors and fishing is a major cause of damages.
  • Submarine cables witness the pressure of 8 km water on them. That is equivalent to put an elephant on your thumb.
  • The undersea optical fibers are as thin as human hair, made of highly purified glass. The light along the path is guided by the phenomenon of internal reflection.
  • The company supplying cables for FASTER, undersea cable planned to connected U.S and Japan, used a jelly compound to keep water out in case of damage. Later on, it enclosed the fibre in a steel tube to protect from water pressure, then steel wire to give it strength, then copper tube to put wires together and then final layer of polythene to produce resistance against water.
  • Undersea cables can transmit data of up to 80 tera bits per seconds.
  • The longest submarine cable is of 39,000 kilometers. The ‘SEA-ME-WE 3’ network is the longest in the world, connects four continents and 33 countries. Originating from Western Europe to East Asia and Australia.

Submarine cables closer to shore are armored. OCC, manufacturing company of networking cables, produces single armor and double armor, to protect them from corrosion, sticking and to enhance strength.


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