Underwater (submarine) cables have been part of international communications since 1850, but the strategic importance of the vital infrastructure crossing our oceans has never been more critical than it is today. Given the marine environment in which the extensive and growing networks are laid and maintained, navies are singularly qualified to safeguard them. Any modern understanding of sea power must take into account both the cables and the security challenge they present, especially when it comes to protecting the communications grid from the hostile actions of pirates and terrorists.
Submarine Cable or Satellite? No Contest
The importance of modern fiber-optic cables to the global economy and the Internet cannot be overstated. In the case of the United States, about 36 submarine cables, each the diameter of a garden hose, carry more than 95 percent of the nation’s international voice, data, and video communications.