A shark has been gnawing at underwater internet cables. So Google has come up with an ingenious solution to address the problem. The search giant clad the cables with an additional protective layer made of Kevlar. The solution, albeit expensive, seems to have worked well.
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.
Underwater technicians zeroed-in on the massive rupture located on the S1H section of the AAG, which is just off the coast of Ba Ria, in Vietnam’s coastal city of Vung Tau. This pipeline supplies about 20 percent of the internet to the 93 million people in Vietnam.
Speaking about the breaks, which are agonizingly frequent, Martin Anderson at The Stack said, “Other recent breakages in the 12,000 mile (20,000 km) trans-Pacific cable have been responsible for similar network blackouts or slow-downs in Asian locations including Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Thailand, as well as Vietnam, in one case requiring 20 days to repair”
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.
[Image Credit | Shutterstock/Google, PNRM]