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There are more than 1.2 billion kilometers of submarine cables circling the globe, transmitting internet data. About 97 percent of all intercontinental data is transferred by underwater cables. The cables enable people to connect to the internet globally — now more than half the world’s population has access to the internet.
Jayne Stowell, manager of Google’s undersea cable projects, said that “people think that data is in the cloud, but it’s not. It’s in the ocean… It really is management of a very complex multidimensional chess board”
More than half of underwater cables now are owned by large internet content providers, like Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon.
Stowell said that “there are geographical pinch points in a global network—based on the reality of populations, oceans, and geography—that can’t be avoided, just planned and engineered around.”