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This article was published on January 8, 2009

    The Internet’s Undersea World

    The Internet’s Undersea World
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    undersea_internet

    underwater_cable

    You would think that the Internet would be mobile now. That all connections travel from east to west, and back, via satellites and radio waves. That isn’t how it works. The Internet is visible, tangible, breakable, and wet.

    As you can see in this beautiful illustration (click it for a larger image!) the main continents are connected by less than 10cm thick Fiber Optic cables.

    Those  cables are generally 69 mm in diameter and weigh over 10.000 kilograms a kilometer. In deeper waters, lighter and less insulated cables are used. The capacity for these combined cables is more than 7 million bits per second.

    That capacity is rarely used though. In general only 29% is in use. Of that 29% more than 70% is for Internet Traffic.

    So, feel free to download more and bigger files from those transatlantic servers. The capacity is there so why not use it?