Submarine cables use fiber optics, as the name suggests these are very thin fibers made of glass. Lasers fire at rapid rates down these thin glass fibers that use refraction as means for transfers. Receptors at the other end of the cable receive these lasers to convey information.
Cables are typically as wide as a gardening pipe. The reason why these cables are so thin is due to the fact that the fibers inside are about the diameter of a human hair. These glass fibers are fragile and are often wrapped in layers of plastic or steel sheath for protection. Cables that are in close proximity to the shore use extra layers of armoring for protection.
The Submarine cable network surrounding Pakistan.
These cables are generally buried under the ocean floor for protection. Different countries have different number of cables to make sure reliable connectivity is possible in case a cable gets damaged.
Cable damage is common. Generally over 100 or more cables are damaged each year.
Accidental damage from fishing boats and ships that drag anchors on the sea bed to come to a halt are usually the main reason for these cable faults. Environmental factors like earthquakes and sea storms also contribute to damage.
While it is true that sharks have bitten into a few cables in the past, they are not a major threat. Shark biting cables are such a rare occurrence that the chances of it happening are the same as you getting hit by a bolt of lightning inside your house. The statistics published by the International Submarine Cable Protection Committee showed that fish bites accounted for zero cable faults between the years 2007 and 2014.
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16 November, 2019