Are Underwater Internet Cables Still Used?

What are underwater cables, and are they still used for internet purposes? Underwater cables, or as they’re often referred to, subsea, or submarine cables, date back to the mid-1800s. In fact, the first cable was laid successfully in the Atlantic in 1858. Since then, technology has vastly improved, and the kind of cables used today are mostly fiber optic, but underwater cables are absolutely still used! Underwater fiber optic cables are often used to connect different countries to each other, and can transmit very large amounts of data very quickly. Read on to learn more, or contact us here at Gateway Cable Company about our cable solutions.

What Are Underwater Fiber Optic Cables?

Underwater fiber optic cables are a newer type of internet cable that are often no more than a few inches in diameter. They’re usually encased in silicon gel and then other protective, waterproof layers such as plastic, copper, steel, nylon, and more.

Fiber Optic Cables vs. Other Cable Types

Fiber optic cables, as mentioned, are different than other types of cables. How do they work? They use what’s called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM). Per this technology, multiple wavelengths, each operating at high speeds, provide maximum data transmission capabilities. Repeaters (otherwise referred to as optical amplifiers) help boost the signal along the cable, as some of these cables can be thousands of miles long!

How Are Underwater Cables Protected?

Think about sea life: there’s a lot of damage that could potentially come to wires, so multiple layers of insulation help protect underwater cables from things like anchors, wildlife — like sharks, weather-related events, and more. 

In certain areas, like shallower seabeds, specially-designed subsea plows are used to bury cables to further protect them against potential damage that could lead to outages. 

Rely on Gateway Cable Company for Your Cable & Power Assembly Needs!

At Gateway Cable Company, we are here to provide you with cable and power assembly solutions that meet the unique challenges and needs of your business. Give us a call today at (631) 766-7969 or email us at to learn more.