Only a few people, techno geeks like me and a group of very successful specialized “telecom” companies, have a mental map of what physical stuff carries your internet sessions, smartphone Whatsapps and football video streams. In other words: what literally goes on behind your screen. This can be shown, unless you want to keep thinking there are little men and women in your smartphone moving pixels on the screen and making beeping sounds.
A number of recent tutorials for various levels of audiences and schools are becoming available, one of these is the following website with the introductions sorted according to distances the bits (short flashes of light on optical fiber cables) are traveling to reach YOUR SCREEN :
With thanks to ArsTechnica, which is part of the Wired digital publication group.
Jaap van Till, theConnectivist
PS 1. A sure sign that demand for digital connectivity, and to be more precise: digital capacity of subsea cables, is growing fast, is the announcement by Microsoft and Facebook that they will invest in a new cable from the USA to/from Spain in Europe, which is designed to start carrying 160 Tbits/sec on over 6,600 km’s of submarine cables, to be implemented and operated by Telefonica. The cable is designated the name MAREA. See also:
- Press statement : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/microsoft-and-facebook-to-build-an-innovative-new-subsea-cable-across-the-atlantic-ocean-300275701.html
- NU.nl :http://www.nu.nl/internet/4268303/microsoft-en-facebook-werken-samen-internetkabel-in-oceaan.html
- Netherlands Newspaper AD.nl article by Gerben van ‘t Hof: http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/5597/Economie/article/detail/4311826/2016/06/01/Razendsnel-internet-op-de-bodem-van-de-oceaan.dhtml
- TeleGeography gives another reason for the Microsoft & Facebook cable than just rising demand for datacom capacity: a shift from the main streams of corporate networks and financial services flows to what they call ‘rising demand for content provider streams’. In fact the public provides the content for these exploding social media and search engines on tablets and smartphones. Rising Tide: Content Providers’ Investment in Submarine Cables Continues
PS 2 The several “closed user groups” of Digital Infrastructure and providers of DI in a number of countries are joining forces to advocate the vital importance of the layers -1, 0, 1, 2 of the OSI Model for the economy and communities. A good example of this is the “Stichting DINL” (Digital Infrastructure in and with The Netherlands) , see : http://www.dinl.nl/
PS 3 Several of these fields of network improvements have been described in more detail in earlier blogs like: