As we know, submarine cables are a technology that have revolutionized the world of internet because it allows us to make data connections all over the world quickly and with high quality. Without it, it would not be possible for us to have the signal quality that we have on the Internet, telephones and cellphones. António Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables unraveled us some curiosities about submarine cables that you probably did not know.
- Cable connection between countries is not so recent
The installation of the first transatlantic cable for telegraphs began in 1854 and connected Ireland to an Island called Newfoundland, located in the northwest Atlantic. On the interactive map created by TeleGeography, you can see the cable network spread across the oceans.
- Installing a transatlantic cable is expensive and arduous
The efficiency of the signal provided by cables is unquestionable, but projects like SACS (South Atlantic Cable System) expected to be installed in 2017 and connect Fortaleza to Luanda, often cost millions of dollars and require caution during installation.
“We initiated a process called desktop survey, which analyzes the seabed surface to decide the best cable route”, said António Nunes, Angola Cables CEO.
Then the cable is released into the water by special boats, taking care not to hit corals and other ecological habitats. The equipment needs to be secured on the seabed.
- The communication by cables is faster than by satellite
The cable that will connect Brazil to Angola next year measures about 6000km. It is lesser than the distance of space satellites: even though both communication satellites and fiber optic cables have been invented in the 60s, satellites still have latency issues, that is, the time it takes for information to travel from one point to another.
- Sharks have tried to chew your internet
Evidence that sharks try to bite cables on the seabed began to emerge in 1987 and recent videos show this fish peculiar interest for this material. Google, that also funds some of these cables, has even invested in “anti-shark” protection.
- Cables have a lifespan of about 25 years
Before being installed the cables go through many tests. If they survive shark’s teeth, they usually last up to 25 years. “The exchange process consists of simply removing the old equipment and adding the new one” said António Nunes. “The type of fiber used today won’t be the same in 25 years and it’s cheaper to produce a new cable than to make adjustments in the system.”
- Only a continent is not connected by these cables
Due to either it’s very low temperatures or to the constant movement of the ice shelves, it is still difficult to connect submarine cables to Antarctica.
- Nowadays there are more than 300 cables under the ocean
A survey conducted by TeleGeography registered 360 cables spread around the planet. Some cross oceans and others follow the coast of several countries. In total, fiber optic cables exceed 800,000 km.
Source: “Galileu Magazine” – Globo