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How Politics Affects Undersea network cabling between countries

Have we ever wondered as to how we are able to establish contacts with our kith and kin miles apart? We use the internet to visit any page worldwide but how is this made possible? Is it the satellites revolving in the space that are doing us this favor? No, it is because of the undersea network cables that are helping us in getting to know about anything that happens at any nook and corner of the world. And it is this same network that takes us close to our near and dear ones over the phones even when they are countries apart.

The undersea cable networks, also known as submarine communication cables are generally laid on the sea beds trying to connect nearby stations via water to establish connections between the places. This way it gets extended to different countries and that is how our phone lines and internet connections are made possible. The first communication lines were laid to carry telegraphic information which was later developed and enhanced to carry data communication. Now the latest we have is the optical fiber technology that enables the transfer of digital data from one country to the other that are separated by huge water bodies and oceans.

Cables under water

Just the fact that cables are laid under water for establishing connections over millions and millions of miles apart sends shivers down our spine. Imagine how it would have been for the technicians and engineers who have their successful hands in making this a successful achievement. Yes, the first line of this kind was laid in 1858 which took a long time for the message from one end to get transferred to the other but was definitely shorter and faster than getting the same thing transferred in person through a voyage. But this cable was very short lived. Though it did not last long, it atleast proved and encouraged the fact and belief that undersea communication lines were possible.

Political impact on submarine communication lines

There are many major threats to these undersea communication lines and one among them, the most dangerous and threatening is the political impacts. Not all the countries divided by water bodies are always in good terms and there are possibilities for a war or a political rupture anytime. Now this affects the country as a whole disturbing every small thing in the country. Yes, even the submarine cables get affected because of this unrest. Now since these lines are used for international transfer of data from one end to the other, more than the general public, it is the government and the government officials who use this for the transfer of some confidential data to other selected countries. There are all possibilities of this getting leaked through spy agencies who try to breach the secured connection lines which run under the deep waters and hence this might lead to severe political problems.

This being one of the reasons for interrupted connection, the other major reason could be the political rift between countries. When there is a war or a tension situation prevailing in a country due to attack from another country, the cables that were so far establishing connections between these two countries might get disturbed. As a result thousands and thousands of connection might go for a toss. It is with the mutual consent of the countries that these lines are laid between them to boost up the communication lines and hence when there is problem between these two countries they affect everything from pin to plane, from land to sky without an exception.

One point to be noted here is that it is not just that one or two countries that will fall prey to this political disturbance but also the other country`s connections that branch out from the main connection for if it is from a single line all of them would get disturbed. As a result, it is finally the people of the countries who suffer the loss of not being able to keep in touch with their families. Political instability or disturbances are a common happening in any country and this not only affects the phone lines but also the internet lines completely shutting down all the openings for communications to people.

Moreover some of the Factors to Choose Network Cable and highly confidential military information are all transferred through this most safe and secured lines that are under water but like how technology has been successful in making this a possibility, it has also paved way for breaching this which again makes way for war and fights between countries. From all angles, it is very clear that it is just not the simple and temporary problems that affect the cable lines but also the major political lines that affect such connection making life tough and harder for the inmates of the country.

Other possible threats

Another great threat to these underwater cable lines are the fish and sharks that generally make their living in such huger water bodies. They have a special liking for these cables and in so many lines there can be bites and teeth marks noted. Constant biting and scratching might damage the lines and make it come in contact directly with water disrupting the connection channels. Constant biting might allow water to penetrate through the insulation cables which in turn might affect the power conductor thereby causing a severe damage.

Apart from this any unexpected collision or accident on oceans might also damage these cable lines. Though these lines are several inches thick in diameter, severe accidents might pose a great threat to them. In 2012, there was a major collision that affected the lines between East Africa, Middle East and Europe and the damage was so very severe that there was a complete communication outage for more than nine days.


Anything that is advantageous to us comes loaded with disadvantages too. As technology improves and develops, there is something new to be presented to the world every day. All these come with some demerits but we tend to look at how and what all it can offer or serve the human kind with. So for gaining something unique, losses have to be managed and so is the case with the submarine communication cables.