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To anyone interested who reads this and doesn't know what'a on telly soon, the RT says Channel 5's "Superships" at 7.15p.m. will include footage of "Atlantic Guardian" which repairs the giant cables which power the Internet.
Sorry - I'll stand in the corner for a bit. The TV programme was about various oceanvessels/rigs, so there was only a few minutes devoted to "Atlantic Guardian", built in 2000. A sleek, neat, avant garde design vessel, shown repairing fibre optic cable faults, today's communication repairs being contrasted with olden days'stuff (clip from the archives). As I was watching I wondered how the ship and the repair service are paid for.
Must keep an eye out for the repeat.
It's a Parthenon Entertainment Ltd program so it's bound to be repeated on one of the cable channels - usually Discovery something or other....
Or if you know someone at Southampton Solent University it's on DVD - click here
If you have Telewest/Blueyonder T.V.and then using the Teleport facility you can rewind to an earlier time on certain channels and rewatch it.
I missed it too and would have watched it!
They're paid for by the companies who own and operate the cables.
In 2000 it was announced that the eight existing Atlantic submarine telecoms cables were to be replaced with two giant fibre-optic 'pipes' which would be capable of handling up to 25 million simultaneous digital phone calls - three times the combined capacity of the existing cables. On the far side the cables make landfall in a small place called Herring Cove, near Halifax, Novia Scotia. (small place called Herring Cove, get it?) At this end one arrives in Dublin, and the other one comes ashore somewhere in Southern England, but I'm not sure where - Cornwall, probably.
We're talking serious investment here - the new cables cost $1.2 billion to make and lay. The main contender as far as fibre-optic cables are concerned is a company called (not surprisingly) WorldWide Fiber, and they're the people who own these cables.
And the data transfer rate for these two beauties? A mere 2000 Gigabytes.......each second.
Golly, gosh! Ta for the info. I found out about the history of Global Marine, owners of "Atlantic Guardian" (based in Portland, Dorset), a U.S. company who had bought out Cable&Wireless/BT Marine. G.M. almost went broke in 2004 but survived,restructuring as Bridgehead Marine. The ship doesn't have a prop. Instead there are two steering spheres hanging one each side under the stern. The fibre optic cables are so fragile they have to be coiled by being walked round and carefully laid on top of each other by hand, in a specially constructed circular bay within the ship.
were a massive outfit before they went under. Always advertising for Navigators etc.
My Company owned a few cable layers but the work for them just seemed to dissapear overnight.
I found all that programme interesting and as a seasoned (38 years at sea) Navigator/Deck Officer/Dogsbody that is not something I can say about a lot of such programmes which can exagerate things (I suppose to stimulate the imagination). I am sure others in specialist fields think the same when watching docs about their profession.
By the way, part of my duties is to up date information on charts. Quite often I lay hundreds of miles of cable in minutes. Thats just using a draughtsmans pen run down a hacksaw blade to create a zig zag line. See technology is everywhere.
A very interesting proggy that I watched first time around during last year.
Yes last nights was a repeat.
Such topics all ways grab me- having salt in my veins- I recall going on board a very old cable layer moored in the Thames downstream to Greenwich I recall- it used to be operated by C/W or was it GPO- forgotten which - and walking those dusty decks and peering in the ports with rotting curtains- looking down into the cable tanks- This was about 25/30 years ago- I was a 'Special' in Thames Division Met Police - chugging up and down the river doing our bit.
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