Did you know about the tubes to the digital world? We are talking here about the “hidden” fiber optic network that transmits information around the globe in a matter of seconds. This network is so extensive that it could actually stretch around Equator 30 times. And guess what? It’s growing larger and larger every year.

Data travels all around the world through a series of undersea fiber optic tubes. The light signals inside the fiber optic cable bounces from one side of the tube to the other, until it reaches its destination (data centre). There, the light signals are converted into electrical ones. Isn’t it simply awesome? A light that bounces from side to side is what is in charge of the transmission of 99% of the digital data.

In 1988, the first undersea fiber optic cable was built (TAT-8). Since then, the number of cables across the ocean had risen impressively. The constant need for higher levels of bandwidth has determined Google and Facebook to get involved in the development of the fiber optic tubes.

Number of undersea cables, by year

Source: Nick Routley, The global Fiber Optic Network Explained, 2019

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