More new submarine cable capacity was deployed last year than the entire undersea bandwidth in service globally in 2011, according to market research firm TeleGeography. That astounding statistic represents international bandwidth growth of 44 per cent in 2014, to reach 211Tb/s. Wholesale carriers and private networks, particularly those of large content providers, continue to invest billions of dollars to upgrade the capacity of existing subsea cables and install new systems.
Far below the surface, fibre-optic cables criss-cross Earth’s ocean floors, blind to the conditions – and the risks – in the cold and dark surrounding them. To channel data across the world reliably, these expensive submarine networks are designed to minimise the number of parts that add to bill-of-material costs and could fail. In this austere culture, until recently, the idea of adding sensors to monitor what’s going on down there would have met with scorn.
Six months after it became mandatory for copper and fibre cables supplied to EU/EEA member states to comply with the Construction Product Regulation and carry CE marking, Keely Portway asks what, if any, effect this has had on cable suppliers
To continue growing data traffic, optical scientists are tackling tough questions about nonlinear effects in optical fibre, discovers Andy Extance
January of this year saw Jerry Rawls step down as chief executive of Finisar, a company he had grown from obscurity to worldwide success. He talks to Rebecca Pool about building his empire, the firm’s new CEO and a future that could include Oclaro*