Undersea Cable Ships, Cables, & the People that Help Facilitate the Global Internet

Commerce, Geospatial, Photography, Technologies, True Cost
Photo by David Meyer/ZDNet UK

Aboard an Alcatel-Lucent undersea cable ship
September 5, 2010

The Ile de Batz is one of three dedicated ships that Alcatel-Lucent uses to lay the submarine fiber-optic cables that carry broadband connectivity across the oceans.

The ship is usually based in Calais, France, but made a stop recently in Greenwich, England, to pick up components from Alcatel-Lucent's factory. The telecommunications infrastructure company invited ZDNet UK to see the factory and the ship, and have a look at a vital part of the global Internet that's normally hidden by miles of water.

The Ile de Batz usually spends between 30 and 40 days at sea on each voyage. It can lay up to 200 kilometers (120 miles) of cable per day, in normal conditions, to a depth of about 8km. That cable and its components are expected to have a lifespan of about 25 years.

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