When talking about fiber networks, it sounds like a science fiction movie – miniature aspects of glass or plastic, the width of a hair from a human, are together bound into cables and can convey signals in pulsing light. These cables known as fiber-optic cables can give the fastest services on the internet available in the world today.
Other forms of internet, such as DSL and cable internet transmit electrical information through lines made of copper – which is fast but not as fast as fiber-optic technology. Fiber networks are just faster.
But both copper and fiber lines used binary signals. This is a system of numbers with the combination of only 2 numbers in order –1 being “on”, and 0 being “off” and represent the more complex instructions. The data transmission method makes fiber networks the best option for reliability and fast speeds.
Our age of information is driven by fiber-optic cables that are tiny and buried in the seabed, connecting continents to each other and to the most remote corners of our earth. These great spreading arteries account for virtually all our international web traffic.
Global manufacturing/supply chains
Global manufacturing and supply chains, as well as financial service areas, are only made possible by cables that are transoceanic and more cable is being laid every year to meet growing demands for more bandwidth. The cable Asia Pacific Gateway, install in 2014 and sends 55 terabytes data each second or Tbps. This is equal to 100 computer hard drives between East Asian countries from South Korean to Malaysia funded partly by Facebook.
Google helped the funding of the installation of the faster cable between the Japan and US, carrying 60 Tbps and is paying for a new submarine cable 64 Tbps in-between the US and Brazil. Both content companies are betting that new networks will grow their users and reduce the costs in areas that are underserved such as Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The transmission of data to these areas with cables that are older can cost up to 10 times more than data sent to Europe or Japan.