Re: Crazy idea!

Dan Clemmensen (
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 19:52:56 -0500

Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> Huh? Can you point me to some references on this? It appears wildly
> contradictory to what I heard in my fiber optics course last spring.
> There are now purely *optical* repeaters, which are pumped with light,
> so no electric power supply system needs to be embedded in the cable,
> but of course you still need repeaters and you can't upgrade old cable.
Check out : At least some cables are repeaterless.

I did an Altavista search on
+fiber +undersea +cable.

Quite a few people are doing a whole bunch of stuff. See for example
The original "crazy idea" wasn't quite so crazy: they actually bury the cable to a depth of .6 meter in most places, deeper in heavily-travelled sealanes and fisheries, and 5 meters deep in Hong Kong harbor. most burial is done with undersea plows, not tunnelling equipment.

Yes, optical repeaters are in use, but I can't tell how many of them are actually undersea. They are configured permit the cables to shift from the current DWM technology to UDWM technology without upgrading the repeaters, so my original barely-informed assertion is not completely wrong even for these cables.

Why is all this relevant to this list? well, folks, the availability of international bandwidth is exploding. These cables are increasing the bandwidth by factors of ten or more every three years. This is faster even than the internet or processor power curves.