Content Provider Cables? Don't Call it a Comeback.


By Jayne MillerApr 30, 2021


What's everyone been reading this month?

The TeleGeography team has been soaking up the submarine cable scuttlebutt. This includes several pieces about cable projects from Google and Facebook.

The content provider cable boom is always of interest—but it's hardly a new development in the grander scheme of things. As our own Tim Stronge points out in the story below, such investments in cables have been evolving for a decade. The stories below from Bloomberg and Fierce Telecom have more.

We also picked out articles on an internet-spanning IP address mystery, the state of the Russian telecom market, and an epic showdown between cables and...beavers.

A Few Glass Strands Will Protect U.S. Tech From China

More content providers and cable chatter with this Bloomberg story about the strategy behind cables connecting the U.S. to Singapore. Writes Alex Webb:

With China becoming more assertive globally, keeping data flows away from the country is wise. The link still gives the two tech giants a data gateway to fast-growing markets like Indonesia and Malaysia, nations with a combined population of around 300 million people. This is corporate geopolitical derisking at its finest.

Facebook, Google lead latest undersea cable boom

If you like to keep tabs on the content provider cable boom—or you enjoy seeing TeleGeography's Tim Stronge in the spotlight—then you might like to peruse this Fierce Telecom post:

The content giants did not become gods of the sea overnight. “We’ve seen this happening over at least the last 10 years,” said Tim Stronge. “First, we saw them buying lots of capacity on cables, then buying fiber pairs for their own use, and then as participants in building the cables themselves.”

Minutes before Trump left office, millions of the Pentagon’s dormant IP addresses sprang to life

Here's a story that made the rounds among our team: Just moments before then-president Trump left office, a Florida company claimed responsibility for 56 million IP addresses owned by the Pentagon.

Three months later, it was managing nearly 175 million. This Washington Post piece provides a solid overview, as does this post from the team at Kentik about a modern internet mystery. 

A Mixed Year for Russia’s Telcos

Russia’s four main telecom groups had varying levels of financial success in 2020. All operators suffered to some degree from the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some fared better than others.

The year’s biggest winner was state-backed operator Rostelecom, which now owns 100% of the country’s third-largest cellco by subscribers, Tele2. This post offers a useful summary of the Russian telecom landscape.

Beaver causes internet outage in a "uniquely Canadian turn of events"

"A beaver brought the Internet down for 900 customers in British Columbia, Canada." What a lede! 

We couldn't resist reading about the rodent that chewed through a Telus fiber cable near a creek, repurposing materials for its dam. 

The beaver was unavailable for comment.


Think you've got something that should be on our monthly reading list? Tweet it to us @TeleGeography.


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