The Backbone of the Internet
Circulated: January 2, 2020
In 1858 a 4,000 kilometer (2,500 mile) long and 1.5 centimeter (0.6 inch) wide cable linked Europe and North America by telegraph. U.S. President James Buchanan hailed the effort as a “triumph more glorious than was ever won by conqueror on the field of battle”. (CNN)
Undersea cables are the backbone of the Internet today:
- 99% of all international data is transmitted via undersea cables.
- The cable between Japan and the U.S. is 8,000 meters (5 miles) below sea level. That’s the height of Mount Everest!
- Today there are around 380 undersea cables in operation around the world.
- Cables were traditionally owned by telecom carriers. In recent years Big Tech became major investors:
- Google — 7 cable investments
- Microsoft — 4
- Facebook — 3
- Amazon — 1