The cloud is not an abstraction. Your photos uploaded to Google’s cloud aren’t floating on ether. Your iCloud backup doesn’t break the bread with the gods. There is no metaverse in heaven that Facebook is very enthusiastic about building.
The name cloud is a linguistic trick to hide who controls the underlying technology of the Internet and the immense power they use. Stop thinking about it for a moment, and the whole concept is weird. In fact, the cloud is a world-wide network of cables and servers. Once protected by an unnamed carrier, it is now owned and controlled by Big Tech, where Google and Facebook claim the largest share.
Building data center capacity is like a full-time job for Big Tech. Here, in a vast facility spread all over the world, your most private photos and messages are placed on the hard drive of anonymous computers in anonymous racks, energy and land are cheap.
The cloud is a huge physical network. It itself forms part of the Internet backbone, which is overwhelmingly composed of a network of cables that intersect the world’s oceans. It’s easy to imagine that these are bigger or bigger than they really are. They are generally the width of hose pipes and are buried a short distance from the shore for safety, but beyond that they are free to sit on the seabed.
A conversation with Bruce Nielson Watts, who spent 16 years as a navigator, engineer, and boat captain working on cable laying and repair, gives a little more light on what cables look like and how they work. I guess. The actual part of the cable that carries information across the continent is the smallest core of a hose pipe wide cable, and even its small thickness can carry up to 100 GBps or 400 GBps with a new cable in just a few seconds. ..
Most of the rest of the width is made up of petroleum jelly Yes, the same as in a Vaseline jar intended to protect the cable from water damage and corrosion. That is, even the physical structure of the Internet is actually lubricated. Make it by what you do.
Data center ownership, and often as a result, our data that powers the Internet is a matter of almost constant public debate. The issue facilitates conversations about technology monopolies and the overwhelming power of Internet platforms. But the same is not true for these transatlantic cables. Nearly 1.5 million kilometers of these cables now cross almost every part of the globe.
These operators tend to be out of sight. In fact, many of the world’s international cables are often owned by a consortium of companies that are rivals in other contexts. Some major internet cables list as many as 50 owners, but one company operates only about a quarter.
These companies charge other companies for the amount of data they send over their cables, but in exchange for free access to the quiet inheritance system behind the giant carriers. Barter access to your own cables. scene.
The world’s largest owner of cables, at least for Americans, is the common name for AT & T, investing about 230,000 kilometers of international Internet cables, or about one-sixth of the total. But looking at the other top 10 companies, it’s clear why both the Big Tech and Western governments are beginning to pay more attention to the apparently dull issue of cable ownership. Second place is China Telecom, third place is Chunghwa Telecom (based in Taiwan) and China Unicorn. It is the sixth.
However, the 10th and 11th spots have some of the very well-known names Facebook and Google. Big Tech has entered the big cable and is doing it in a big way. Over the past few years, 80% of new cable investments have come from two US tech giants. As of today, Facebook owns or co-owns 99,399 kilometers of cable and Google 95,876 kilometers. Further investment is in progress. In August, Facebook and Google announced plans to build a 12,000km submarine cable apricot connecting Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia when completed in 2024. In the case of Google, this is hot following previous announcements about Echo submarine cables connecting California, Singapore, Guam and Indonesia. Facebook has cast its weight behind a coalition of telcos constructions that may prove to be the longest submarine cable ever: 2Africa, covering the entire African continent, 33 countries in Africa and Europe In May 2020, Bloomberg reported that the project would cost less than $ 1 billion, before Facebook announced some extensions to its initial design. It was that.
There are various expressed motives for these efforts. Facebook, in particular, is about improving Internet access around the world, and if successful, is part of that effort to recognize some benefits to Facebook itself through user growth. Google primarily emphasizes how improved connectivity boosts the economic prosperity of the region.
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