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Good day everybody and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s day by day editorial podcast. My identify is Pierre Benhamou and immediately I invite you on a journey by the historical past of telecommunications discovering the primary submarine cable linking Europe to America. A narrative during which you will note, France performed a number one position.

With Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and Orange Marine, France can now delight itself on having in its ranks two flagships of the fiber optic submarine cable business, these backbones supporting the worldwide Web from the seabed. .

And if France is immediately a vacation spot of alternative for worldwide cable networks, the love story between France and these submarine cables isn’t new, as you will note. The idyll really dates again to the second half of the 19e century.

After a primary profitable try at a transatlantic hyperlink in 1869, the Compagnie française du Télégraphe de Paris à New York was based 10 years later with the intention of laying a blue-white-red cable between the New and the Previous Continent. Designed below the aegis of a subsidiary of the German firm Siemens and laid in 1879 by the ship Faraday, the primary cable ship in historical past, the cable connects Deolen (10 kilometers from Brest) to Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon to finish up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

99% of world knowledge alternate

In 1897, a 3rd French transatlantic cable, baptized Le Direct, will hyperlink France to the US continuous. Manufactured and laid by the Société Industrielle des Telephones, will probably be, with its 3,173 nautical miles, the longest single-span cable laid so far. Now thought-about an emblem of the historical past of telecommunications, will probably be operated till 1940 and the German invasion of France, earlier than being put again into service in 1952 and eventually closed in November 1959.

If the submarine cables initially had a tiny knowledge switch capability, that is not the case immediately. The backbones of the worldwide Web don’t bear this identify for nothing, since they at present help 99% of world knowledge exchanges and are as such largely preempted by the GAFAM, on the forefront on this discipline.

As for France, it nonetheless takes benefit of its advantageous geography to stay the popular gateway for submarine cables on the Previous Continent. That is evidenced by the latest or future landfalls of varied worldwide networks led by well-known digital giants comparable to Fb and Google.


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