Gnawing sharks force Google to protect internet cables with Kevlar


If you have been experiencing painfully longer ping times or hair-pulling latencies in your internet, you might have to blame someone else other than your internet service provider. As it turned out, a shark had been angrily chomping on the underwater cables that ferry data across the continents.

Over the past two months, ruptures have been appearing in the submerged Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable system that supplies a huge section of Southeast Asia with its daily dose of internet, reported Science Alert. However, all these seemed trivial in comparison to a hole that was so severe, it brought the majority of internet users in Vietnam to their knees. This hole caused millions of residents of the country to deal with speeds that were similar to dial-up, and a connection that was frustratingly sporadic. […]

Commissioned and opened for business in 2009, the AAG cable system has been experiencing far too many tears to be considered as mere accidents. Underwater cameras managed to capture the culprit who was having a go at the cables. The shark — drawn by electromagnetic waves, which these cables emit — was attacking them with a strong vengeance. Though the authorities are glad it wasn’t foul play, they are still concerned about how to dissuade the shark from attacking the cables.

Fortunately, Google came up with a simple, ingenious, and expensive solution to accord protection to the cables. Double-sheathing the cables with the same material that goes into making bullet-proof vests – Kevlar – now protects them from being damaged by the shark.

See Inquistr

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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