31 January, 2008

Tubes and the Internets

In light of a recent widespread internet outage hitting Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa today, I thought I'd post a little educational info on the Tubes.

The outage was caused by a break in a cable running under the Meditteranean near Alexandria, Egypt. Apparently these cables can be cut by boat anchors or even shark bites (really?). A look at current cables carrying internet and telephone traffic between continents:

As you can note in this picture, another area that seems to have a lack of backup or direct routes is between the Americas to Asia. Rumor on the Internets has it that Google is considering building their own trans-Pacific cable, possibly under the name "Project Unity." Then they won't be having to share their Tubes with (or rent them from) anyone else. Oh Google, you make even a verticle monopoly look good.

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