from the sure-beats-dialup dept.
The Marea cable's new "open" design allows it to evolve with technology, ensuring the highest performance for users now and well into the future, even as the global population of internet users grows. And make no mistake, the demand is growing. Just think of the many high-bandwidth applications and content you use today such as Skype and Facebook Live, and the volume of streaming videos, movies and music consumed daily. This ability to interoperate with many different kinds of networking equipment brings significant benefits including lower costs and easier equipment upgrades, leading to faster growth in bandwidth rates.
Completed in less than two years — nearly three times faster than is typical — Marea is a powerful example of the important role the private sector has to play in connecting the world. It also set a new standard for subsea cables because it is designed to meet today's demand and evolve with the progress of tomorrow, allowing companies offering digital services to be better equipped to handle cross-border internet traffic, which is expected to increase eightfold by 2025.
Elsewhere, Google and Facebook last year partnered on a new submarine cable project between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, while a new Google-backed transpacific internet cable from Japan to Oregon opened for business. Earlier this year, Google revealed it was also backing Indigo, a new undersea cable between Asia and Australia.
It was no surprise to learn that Amazon — a competitor in the cloud services space alongside Google and Microsoft — made its first major subsea cable investment last year when it plowed money into the transpacific Hawaiki cable, which should improve latency for Amazon Web Services (AWS) users in Australia and New Zealand.
[...] Though the cable should help bring greater speeds to connections between North America and Europe, it may also have a knock-on effect for Asia and Africa, which are connected via the same landmass.
The UK's most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the defence staff, said Britain and Nato needed to prioritise protecting the lines of communication. He said it would be an "immediately and potentially catastrophic" hit to the economy if they were cut or disrupted.
The cables criss-cross the seabed, connecting up countries and continents. [...] Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute defence think tank, Sir Stuart said the vulnerability of undersea lines posed a "new risk to our way of life".
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