Google’s new $300 million dollar FASTER fiber optic cabling system, which is underwater, is under attack by sharks. Yes, you heard right, sharks. The FASTER system is a new cabling system that is going to provide faster broadband speeds to Asian countries, and it has a shark problem. Google product manager Dan Belcher announced Google’s solution to the cable eating monsters, Kevlar. Yes, Google plans to wrap the cables in Kevlar to keep the animals from destroying their investment.
Forbes reports that these “shark attacks” are actually a very common problem and that the sharks prefer the fiber optic variety over anything. Copper cabling underwater is pretty much untouched by the creatures, leading them to believe it is the electrical signals in the fiber optics that attracts the sharks. Apparantly, the electrical signals given off by the fiber trigger a feeding reflex, but some people aren’t buying that explanation.
Dr. Chris Lowe, one of the founders of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach believes that sharks attack the cables for a different reason. He told Wired that sharks may just be curious about the cables. “If you had just a piece of plastic out there shaped like a cable, there’s a good chance they’d bite that too,” said Dr. Lowe in the interview. The undersea cables are also susceptible to damage by ship anchors and earthquakes.
Whatever the reason, Google has a solution to the problem. They need to protect their large investment along with keeping the sharks safe, and Kevlar seems to be the answer. So, next time we have an internet outage, it could be JAWS that is the cause of it.Source: Forbes