Techno Tuesday: The Internet’s Secret Undersea World

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Internet undersea cable map

{Each Tuesday we will be doing a Brain Post related to the technology field, enlightening you about emerging technologies or funny history about how technology came to be}

How does a single ship reduce all of Asia’s internet capacity by 75%?  They accidentally drag their anchor across a few of the Internets undersea cables, that’s how.  In 2008, the Alexandria incident, caused by a ships anchor severing two cables in the Mediterranean, affected over 85 million users in the Middle East.

And it’s happened more than than once.  In 2006, an underwater landslide near Taiwan disabled Internet access in the region for weeks.  During the recent Egypt uprising, terrorist divers were captured attempting to cut undersea internet cables which would have greatly reduced connectivity.  Believe it or not, there is still a large majority of Internet traffic that relies on these underwater cables, and they’re only 10cm in diameter!


Undersea Internet by the numbers:

  • Usage of cables: 72% Internet, 27% private networks, 1% telephone calls
  • 85 Million affected by 2008 Alexandria Incident
  • Longest Cable: SeaMeWe-3 at 39,000km long
  • Bandwidth: 7.1 Terabytes/Second
  • Cable Diameter: Less than 10cm
Cross Section of undersea internet cable
Cross section of the undersea internet cable


More Undersea Internet Fun Facts:

  • Bandwidth is sold to carriers, 80% of bandwidth has been purchased but only 29% is used
  • The first cable, TAT-1 connected North America and Europe and had a bandwidth of 640,000 bytes/second
  • Current day trans-Atlantic cable capacity is over 7 trillion bytes/second
  • Asia has 501 million of the 1.3 billion Internet users in the world, and is growing by 882% annually

If you want, check out this facts and more contained in this infographic at

So what do you think?  Like/love/hate/don’t care about Technology?  Let us know so we don’t waste your time!  (Please comment below)


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4 thoughts on “Techno Tuesday: The Internet’s Secret Undersea World

  1. I remember the 2008 incident, or at least a similar one the same year with a cable getting disconnected under the Persian Gulf. And YES please to techno Tuesdays!

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