The Undersea Internet Backbone

August 6, 2010

Ron Maharik

Ever called someone overseas? Used a foreign ATM? Surfed the internet? Ever wondered where your bits go when you send them to the other side of the planet? Today I will present an introduction to the submerged network of wires that connects us all together. We will cover its history, from the telegraph boom of the mid-19th century to the dotcom bust of the early 2000s. We will see how modern fiber-optic cables are built. We will then meet the enemies of undersea cables, and learn what happens when they break. This talk is for anyone interested in the infrastructure underlying our global village. It will also provide some useful pointers for those who would like to destroy it.