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