The map below, by Ben Pollock, is a comprehensive look at the world’s cable network, as well as some of the impressive information on bandwidth and maintenance jurisdictions.
THE HISTORY OF SUBMARINE CABLES
The first transcontinental cable – laid in 1858 – ran from Ireland to Newfoundland, and made telegraph communication possible between England and Canada.
BEYOND THE TELEGRAM
The first transatlantic telephone cables went into service in 1956, and 32 years later, the first fiber optic cable connected Europe and America.
Fiber optic technology made transmitting massive quantities of information fast and cost-effective. The level of speed has only increased with time – and now cables can transmit 160 terabits per second.
Today, there are over 420 submarine cables in service, stretching over 700,000 miles (1.1 million km) around the world. The network is clustered around information economy hotspots like Singapore and New York, but cables connect to just about anywhere.
Remote Pacific islands, and even obscure ocean towns in the Arctic Circle have such connections.
WHO’S FOOTING THE BILL?
Traditionally, private companies or consortiums formed by telecom carriers owned cables, but that model is changing. Content providers such as Google and Microsoft are increasingly major investors in new cable. Cloud computing is the big demand driver of this new private cable boom.
As more millions more people around the world adopt cloud computing, we’ll be certain to see even more cables criss-crossing the world’s oceans in the near future.
Source: Visual Capitalist by Nick Routley