20.000 Cables under the Sea

1 x 45' / HD

At home and on the road, we have long since become accustomed to wireless internet, and generally speaking we give barely a thought to how the incredible volumes of data that are coursing through our air manage to cross the world's oceans.

The answer lies on the seabed in several million kilometres of very delicate glass fibre bundles, without which information from Google, YouTube and Wikipedia, critical political commentaries from Iran or China, lightning-fast money transfers or the latest trash from the global porn industry would have great difficulty getting from one end of the world to the other.

How does the internet work so reliably, even when a fishing trawler in the English Channel damages an ocean cable - and what can be done to counteract a blackout or "shunt fault"? We follow the "Leon Thevenin", a French cable ship, watch as they use the "Teliri" to lower cables into the Mediterranean and learn about the manufacture of fibreglass and data cables from German professionals. This film poses questions about the future of broadband communication and looks over the shoulders of the people who dedicate their every day to this globe-spanning cable network.

 

Producer: Fact+Film
Production year: 2010
Broadcasters: arte, RB
Languages: English, German, French

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