Submarine Cables as Earthquake Detectors? It Could Happen.

Internet Network

By Jayne MillerJun 20, 2018


Gather round—we're sharing our telecom reading recommendations for June 2018.

First up, The Economist looks closer at a new approach that would leverage submarine cables for measuring seismic activity. This innovative idea comes from Britain’s National Physical Laboratory, which has successfully identified quakes in trial runs. 

We've also pulled stories about broadband in rural America, a submarine cable kerfuffle between China and Australia, as well as an examination of plummeting international bandwidth prices.

Submarine Cables Could be Repurposed as Earthquake Detectors

Why it’s worth your time: According to The Economist, we could be close to a new seismological frontier. This story outlines Dr. Giuseppe Marra's big idea: shining a high-quality laser beam through one of the optical fibers in subsea cables as a means to detect seismic activity. This article explains how it would work, as well as the advantage of using subsea cables for such a task.

Rural Communities See Big Returns With Broadband Access, but Roadblocks Persist

Why it’s worth your time: In this piece by NBC, Phil McCausland covers rural America's struggle to bring reliable internet access to formerly underserved communities—and the economic incentive for prioritizing broadband access in these areas.

McCausland writes, "Without investment, communities without internet access are in danger of falling behind the growing digital economy that has an increasingly large stake in the U.S. Workers are now expected to have a large amount of digital know-how when entering the workplace.

There are 17.5 Million Fixed Broadband Customers in Africa. How Does That Compare Globally?

Why it’s worth your time: The fixed broadband market in Africa has witnessed continued growth in recent years, despite a household penetration rate that remains in single digits. Only 7 percent of African households subscribed to high speed internet services at the end of 2017. (Compare that to the Middle East’s 38 percent, which is next in line.)

This post smartly captures the state of fixed broadband and the wide array of market types throughout the continent.

China-Australia Friction Intensifies Deep in the South Pacific

Why it’s worth your time: According to the Nikeei Asian Review, a submarine cable kerfuffle between China and Australia has bigger implications.

Says author Fumi Matsumoto, "China's Huawei Technologies group was set to lay a cable from the Solomon Islands to Australia—that is, until the Australian government denied the company access to the Sydney landing station. In April, Australia confirmed it would take on the project itself."

Great Time to Shift Bytes: International Bandwidth Prices are in Free Fall

Why it’s worth your time: International bandwidth prices are plummeting, with some routes offering 10 Gbps connections for less than $5,000 per month. (Tell us about it!) The post has the basic details, as well as a great shout-out to our own Brianna Boudreau.


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