Underwater Internet

August 22nd, 2009 by Rob Hale Leave a reply »

An interesting series of charts in the New Scientist show just how much Internet traffic flows around under water.

In 1956, North America was connected to Europe by an undersea cable called TAT-1. It was the world’s first submarine telephone system, although telegraph cables had crossed for the ocean for a century.

Trans-Atlantic cable capacity soared over the next 50 years, reaching nearly 10 Tbps in 2008.

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It is interesting to see the entry points to Australia are primarily via the West Coast of the US and Japan.  Is our geographical isolation affecting Internet performance at all?  Does this compromise our ability to market education around the globe – particularly online vodcasts etc?  I know we have a major corporate application that is hosted in the US and the performance is OK, but not exactly snappy.

That 10Tbps in 2008 is a massive amount of data.  It seems only yesterday that I worked for Telco’s in Europe where 2Mbps channels were something only the big corporations could afford to have.  How times have changed.

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