Internet Infrastructure
March 31, 2004 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Internet infrastructure: how does the physical infrastructure of the internet cross oceans? Is all of the data transmitted by communications satellites, or are there big-ass intercontinental cables running across the ocean floor? And if there are big-ass intercontinental cables, how are they maintained?

(sorry if this is a crushingly stupid question, or if it's easily Googlable… I've tried my hand at Google, but may not have been asking the right questions.)
posted by COBRA! to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bigass cables. If you search for "Neil Stephenson" in WiReD you should be able to find a good article on it all; he took a junket 'round the world while writing Cryptonomicron researching it.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:09 AM on March 31, 2004

This is the classic article fff is refering to. It's really worth reading, and a page turner, despite the dry technical matters. (A faster read than some of Stephenson's books, even).
posted by whatzit at 9:16 AM on March 31, 2004

Rather, potentially dry technical matters.
posted by whatzit at 9:17 AM on March 31, 2004

While reading about transoceanic cables, don't forget the story of the Great Eastern.
posted by TedW at 9:34 AM on March 31, 2004

Even with a (usually) redundant system, damage to transoceanic cables results in serious consequences for the structure of the Internet.
posted by Danelope at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2004

potentially dry my ass! These here are UNDERWATER cables!
posted by kaibutsu at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2004

FWIW -- at the base stations in Antarctica, they have satellite and only satellite.
posted by jessamyn at 2:15 PM on March 31, 2004

Response by poster: That Wired article pretty excellent. Thanks, everybody.
posted by COBRA! at 2:17 PM on March 31, 2004

If you're interested in a specfic example do a google search on the "Southern Cross Cable".
posted by X-00 at 3:30 PM on April 1, 2004

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