Does anyone remember this article about an internet backbone facility?
January 20, 2016 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a particular article that shows a municipal internet backbone being repaired in a facility that has served as an important telecommunications junction for decades.

The articles has lots of pictures, and in particular, I remember the author finding an old photograph of a person from the 1930s or earlier that was still on the wall of this sub basement/closet or whatever where half of the worlds internet travels through. I believe that it all stemmed from some bad fiber optic cable or something and went through all of the repairs they had to do to fix this one strand.

I've already looked up obvious NYC places like 60 Hudson and Broad Street, but can't find the post with my Google-Fu. Thanks!
posted by daHIFI to Technology (4 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Duh, after searching for 15 minutes, I post on AskMe and find it with one more search:
posted by daHIFI at 7:31 PM on January 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

There's probably a lot of stories floating around there that I may have conflated, if you've got any good ones please feel free to share.
posted by daHIFI at 7:39 PM on January 20, 2016

Have you read Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet? After Andrew Blum's home internet failed, he got curious about where the internet comes from. He visited a number of colocation facilities, telecom junctions, and so on, including places like 60 Hudson and Broad Street. Blum is an architecture critic, so he is very aware of how people interact with their built environment. My favourite part is when he describes a crew pulling a trans-oceanic cable ashore.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:06 PM on January 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mother Earth Mother Board is an excellent piece of long form journalism written for Wired by Neal Stephenson in 1996. It covers the process of laying undersea communication cables (and the people and organizations that do it) as well as the facilities onshore where they're connected. There's also lots of great stuff about the early history and development of the technologies used to move information quickly between continents.
posted by contraption at 9:50 PM on January 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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