In Brief

Wired has published a fascinating series of photos which highlight the very physical backbone of the Internet.

It’s easy to take all the Internet’s technical infrastructure for granted sometimes when all of this instantaneous communication happens so effortlessly. Wired has published a fascinating series of photos which highlight the very physical backbone of the Internet, and show all the different places (data centers, optic fiber pipes) where the magic happens.

Wired explains the above photo:

This modest indentation on the Canadian coastline is a major Internet landmark, a sort of Ellis Island of the Web: It’s where a submarine cable owned by Hibernia Atlantic comes ashore. (Eleven major lines cross the Atlantic, and this one lands under the manhole, above left.) This particular bit started at a Hibernia sister station in Southport, England, and traversed the ocean in about 0.0028 second. It will then skip along one of two fiber-optic thoroughfares: the cross-Canada pipe, which goes to Montreal and points west, or the southern route, down the East Coast, through Boston to New York City. An injection laser diode encodes the information as superbright pulses of light.

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