Sunday May 29, 2016

How The Internet Works: Submarine Fiber, Brains In Jars, And Coaxial Cables

If you saw the "Microsoft and Facebook are laying a cable across the Atlantic" stories this week and want to learn more about the relevance of such feats, this may be the article for you.

Have you ever thought about how that cat picture actually gets from a server in Oregon to your PC in London? We’re not simply talking about the wonders of TCP/IP or pervasive Wi-Fi hotspots, though those are vitally important as well. No, we’re talking about the big infrastructure: the huge submarine cables, the vast landing sites and data centres with their massively redundant power systems, and the elephantine, labyrinthine last-mile networks that actually hook billions of us to the Internet. And perhaps even more importantly, as our reliance on omnipresent connectivity continues to blossom, our connected device numbers swell, and our thirst for bandwidth knows no bounds, how do we keep the Internet running?