how do they do it.

  SG Atlantis® 21:14 28 Dec 2005

just watching this on discovery channel.

They are showing how they lay optic fibre accross the atlantic. Next up is tower cranes and mobile phones.

I'm amazed and dizzy, look how high that is!

  SG Atlantis® 08:04 29 Dec 2005


very interesting.

  mco 09:09 29 Dec 2005

funny - my son was just asking me yesterday how they laid cables across the ocean - would have liked to see that program

  DieSse 16:48 29 Dec 2005

It's basically just a ship with a (big) reel of cable on the back! There's no other way if you think about it!

click here to see how far back the history of transatlantic cable goes. Loads more on the web - just google.

  SG Atlantis® 17:36 29 Dec 2005

On the show a company called Alcatel were the manufacturers. As far as I know it's a french company, they make mobiles too.

It's several optical cables twisted together and then given a steel outer coating to protect it against the elements. Then the miles of cable are wound onto a special reel on this massive specially built ship and off it goes dropping it into the ocean.

Job Done.

  wolfie3000 22:48 30 Dec 2005

makes the mind boggle to think how they laid cables from england to america.

  mco 23:10 30 Dec 2005

not trying to sound thick or anything - yes wolfie, the mind does boggle! But surely it must be a massive ship to carry all that amount of cable enough to go from UK to US

  SG Atlantis® 23:27 30 Dec 2005

miles and miles of cable. so yeah mco. check discovery channel for "How do they do it?" Knowing them it'll be repeated again.......

  DieSse 23:57 30 Dec 2005

*makes the mind boggle to think how they laid cables from england to america.*

It's very low tech actually - so low tech they started doing it in the 1800s.

Mind you the latest multi fibre optc cables are a bit more sophisticated than then!

Another technique is to lay the cable from each side - then join them when the ships meet in mid-Atlantic.

  Chegs ®™ 02:44 31 Dec 2005

They used the Great Eastern,"She was by far the largest ship afloat, measuring 693 feet in length and 120 feet in width."

  flaming 15:06 03 Jan 2006

mco: There used to be a small museum in Cornwall, on the coastal site where it all started. That would be a good outing for your son if you are Cornwall-bound for hols.this year. I think I am right in saying that the General Post Office (as BT was )had the monopoly on all phone traffic using their under-sea trans-Atlantic cables, a lucrative item into late last century. I expect details about the museum, if still there, would be among the google stuff. I saw it in the early '90s, it being founded after all cable operations ceased. They did not know then whether the place had a future. There were many giant wooden reels displayed outside. Inside there were models of the ships and detailed explanations. All very quaint and 'cottage industry' by today's standards!

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