The Subsea Interweb

Below the surface of the ocean, wrapping invisibly around the planet covered mostly with fine mud particles and the carcasses of dead organisms is the internet, in its physical form.

tyco cable layer
A Tyco cable-laying ship installing the shore connection

Technology continues to develop in the world of digital communications and as it does, new, faster cables are installed throughout the world.  Tyco Communications notes this year they are now installing fiber optic cables which have shown 13 terabytes per second capacity over a distance of 6,500 km.  Since 1955, Tyco’s SubCom division has installed 490,000 kilometers of subsea cable, which is enough to circle the earth 12 times on the equator.  Other recent cable lay jobs include connecting Chevron’s Jack & St. Malo production rig in the Gulf of Mexico to a 180km-long subsea fiber optic network.

tyco reliance
Tyco’s Reliance, a 139-meter cable ship operated by the Transoceanic Cable Ship Company, image: Tyco

The following images show the extent of the cables currently installed around the world as of 2014. Images published under Creative Commons License

submarine cables 2014

submarine cables

submarine cables

For an interactive version of the above images, please click HERE