Intercontinental Internet

Ever wonder how the Internet stays connected, from country to country, continent to continent? The answer is a little simpler than you might think – thousands upon thousands of miles of fiber optic cable under the sea. An estimated 98% of all international internet traffic travels through them.

In the last five years, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have spent roughly one and half billion dollars on constructing and maintaining these cables. As the cloud computing and storage world heats up, these companies have incentive to build this infrastructure so that their services can run smoothly. It’s amazing that we can grab our documents off of Drive anywhere in the world, and it’s more important than ever that Google can deliver that service uninterrupted.

But wait… Is it a good thing that a handful of companies own the vast majority of the “plumbing” of the internet? Couldn’t they squeeze out the little guy? Thankfully, while these companies own the physical cable, they share the bandwidth with others as well. Facebook may account for a large amount of the data going back and forth, but there will still be room for your next visit to Etsy.

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