Submarine Cable Map

Many years ago (around 2008 to be exact) the Middle East and a large portion of Asia suffered a massive Internet outage. I remember not being able to access anything, get 20k pings in WoW, not to mention losing communications to anyone, even those in my own country (Internet routing in the ME is weird sometimes). I also recall people complaining, cursing the ISPs for using "cheap wires" rather than "uncuttable" satellite. Anyone familiar in communications knows that submarine cables (they are fiber optic cables by the way) offers the highest bandwidth, lowest latency and is cost effective compared to satellite. Therefore, it is obviously the best choice.

I have quite an interest in these things and previously I would rely mostly on Wikipedia or other sites to find what cables go where and how. However, I found a pretty cool website by the telecoms research company TeleGeography called Submarine Cable Map, that puts just about every cable in one place.

When you visit the site, the first thing you get is a nice overview of the cables, with the full list on the right of the page. They make use of Google Maps so you can go around zooming into places to get a clearer view of what crosses your neighborhood.

You can also click on one of the cables and it will show you the name, date it was lit (or will be lit), length and most importantly which countries (and cities) it lands in.

So there you have it, next time your Internet goes down because of a cable cut, you'll be able to know which one and where it was. And don't take these fragile "wires" for granted!

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