Sharks take a bite of Google’s un­der­sea ca­bles

CityPress - - News -

Google has had to re­in­force its frag­ile un­der­sea in­ter­net ca­bles with a ma­te­rial sim­i­lar to that used in bul­let­proof vests – partly to pro­tect them from cu­ri­ous sharks.

The Tele­graph on­line says this was an­nounced by the mas­sive tech­nol­ogy com­pany at its Google Cloud Road­show event last week.

The Tele­graph re­ports that Google owns about 160 000km of pri­vate fi­bre­op­tic ca­ble around the world.

Fi­bre­op­tic ca­bles use lasers to send data across the ocean, al­low­ing trans­fer rates up to 100 times higher than tra­di­tional cop­per ca­bles.

But they are made of frag­ile glass strands and must be pro­tected from any knocks or sharp move­ments.

At the event, the Tele­graph re­ports, Google said it was now us­ing a “Kevlar-like ma­te­rial” to pro­tect its ca­bles.

For un­known rea­sons, sharks seem drawn to the data ca­bles that rest on the ocean floor. One at­tack was even caught on cam­era.

In 1985, shark teeth were found buried deep in the coat­ing of an ex­per­i­men­tal fi­bre­op­tic line near the Ca­nary Is­lands off the north­west coast of Africa. – Staff reporter

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