No question, we are getting more and more reliant on good quality internet access and online connectivity. I remember a time when I would be able to go off to vacuum the house while I waited for a program to download from the mac bulletin board. What a slow but exhilarating time that was!
But today, we want speed – real speed.
So the reading about the possible advantages created by melting Arctic Ice for faster internet brought a wry smile to my face.
The internet might seem like an ethereal, invisible network that connects every laptop and smartphone on the planet, but in reality it is propped up by a very real, very large network of cables crisscrossing the ocean floor. For years, communications networks have relied on tens of thousands of fiber optic cables to establish connections between countries, with the shortest and most direct connections providing the fastest links to the internet. As the internet grew, so did this undersea network. But while crossing the Arctic Circle is the most direct path to lay cables to connect European and Asian networks, until recently Arctic ice has prevented installation.As these new pathways are opening up in the Arctic, communications companies are jumping on the chance to lay new cables.People in remote Alaskan communities will not only have access to services like online classes and medical data, but will be able to do things that most people take for granted, like streaming movies and television shows through services like Netflix.