Monday, June 5

Internet Day: How do submarine cables work? | Digital Trends Spanish

If you opened this article and read this paragraph, then you are part of the celebration: today, May 17, practically the whole world marks Internet Day.

Technically, it is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. Since 2005 it has been colloquially known as Internet Day, but in reality this began on May 17, 1968. At that time, the International Telecommunication Union chose the date to commemorate the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention, which dates back to 1865. .

In general, the average user is more familiar with the concept of wireless internet or Wi-Fi, and what most are unaware of is the relevance of submarine cables for telecommunications, but above all for the internet.

Submarine cables are a concept that dates back to the 19th century, when the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable was installed with the aim of unifying America and Europe, and which allowed messages to be sent via telegraph between one continent and another.

Today there are more than 1,000 million meters of submarine cable for internetfiber optic and whose width is approximately similar to that of a human arm, located more than 8,000 meters deep in the oceans.

How is it possible for one of these cables to survive underwater? With seven layers of protection against any incident: polyethylene, mylar-type tape, braided steel cables, aluminum, polycarbonate, copper tube and, to cover it all, a protective waterproof layer of petroleum jelly (or in English, petroleum jelly).

So much protection is not exaggerated or anything like that. Submarine cables have to withstand various threats, including earthquakes, tidal waves, trawling nets, and even shark attacks. In fact, in 1985 it was revealed that there were sharks attacking the submarine cables, since teeth stuck in the cables were discovered in the Canary Islands.

Submarine cable map

Currently, it is the large companies that are behind the installation of these cables. Recently, Facebook and Google announced a cable project that will link Indonesia, Singapore and North America in order to enhance and improve interactivity across the Pacific.

Submarine cables are probably the most important player in communications today; It is estimated that 90 percent of the data that moves over the Internet does so through a submarine cable. Therefore, on Internet Day it is worth highlighting its relevance, since it is likely that to open this same page the data has traveled under the sea (and escaped a shark bite).

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