Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In case you were wondering how much fiber optic cable has been installed under the world's oceans, I provide this handy map (pdf). Via FP Passport, which takes note of the big surge in broadband coming to the east coast of Africa, the last place on earth without it. Will the islands in the net disappear?
This is very cool. Note especially the case of Africa as mentioned by feeblemind above and the stitching down the coast of Brazil. In both these cases the ocean is less inhospitable than the land for one reason or another, swamps, deserts, mountains, political instabilities, etc.
We have a huge amount of fiber in the ground which we'll be able to exploit for years to come due to DWDM or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing which just means that we can send multiple data streams down a particular fiber using different color lasers. They don't interfere.
Also it's a big win when you can go the entire underwater distance without any regeneration. The current limit seems to be about 140 Km or 87 miles according to the article referenced above.
Bell Labs 1972-1999