What’s involved in getting you connected to the Internet? It’s a great question, with a pretty complex answer. Andrew Blum takes us through the process:
Though you may never have given it much thought, the internet we use on a daily basis is a physical thing. And like most physical things, it can be constructed, broken, repaired, and maintained. Despite what you may think, this work isn’t done by a person sitting in a room in front of a computer – it’s completed by a technician, such as an electrician or electrical network connectivity and maintenance specialist. In fact, if you’re reading this online in Victoria, your internet cables have probably been installed or maintained by FTS Resolve’s very own crew.
In our own words, here’s what’s involved in getting you connected to the internet, and how telecommunication specialists like FTS Resolve help you stay connected.
Understand how you’re connected
Whether you’re reading this article on your smart phone or a computer, you’re doing so via a cable, which is connecting you to the internet. Hang on a minute! I’m using my phone (or computer) wirelessly, so how am I connected via a cable? Well, whether you’re using Wi-Fi or a telecommunications network – at some point the transfer of internet data i.e. information, must hit an access point or router. This is a piece of hardware that physically connects, via a cable, to the internet – more specifically, to a server. And it is on these servers that websites live.
When you use an app, or open an internet browser, such as Google, your device is sending and retrieving information. This is a physical process that occurs via cables that live underground. And if the information you want to access lives on a server that is located overseas – as is quite common – then your transfer of data will occur via an underwater cable, known as a ‘submarine cable’.
If this is starting to make your head spin, take a look at this submarine cable map, which illustrates all of the major undersea cables throughout the world. These undersea cables, for the most part, are about the thickness of a garden hose and contain fibre optic cables, which are about the thickness of a human hair. If one of these cables were to malfunction or be cut, then a network connectivity or telecommunications specialist has to repair it. For example, in 2011 a Georgian woman accidentally cut off internet access to the entire country of Armenia with a garden spade. Someone, like the team at FTS Resolve, had to physically repair those laid telecommunications cables and network connections.
The next time you’re posting, sharing or chatting to someone online, consider the intricate network of telecommunications infrastructure and cables that connect us all to the world wide web. For other helpful insights, information and the latest industry trends, or to see what the FTS Resolve team is up to, explore our Insights blog now.