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Secrets of Submarine Cables - Transmitting 99 percent of all international data!

  • KogaThe work of laying submarine cable in the ocean per se is hard to do. But, although it's rare, the cable may get cut in an earthquake or for some other reasons. Repairing such a cut requires a lot of work.
  • MitaThe cable is on the ocean floor. It's not as simple as, "The cable is cut. Let's dive and fix it."
  • KogaThat's right. We roughly know where the submarine cable lies. So we move the repairing ship in a direction perpendicular to the cable. This ship has a device for hooking the submarine cable. The device picks up the cut cable lying on the sea bed.
  • MitaIt's like playing with a huge crane game!
  • KogaIn a very broad way, yes. We bring up both ends of the cut cable to the sea surface and add some cabling to connect them together to repair the cable.
  • MitaThat's certainly a hefty job.
  • KogaYes. It requires a lot of labor, time and money. So, in order to prevent such a situation from taking place, meticulous preliminary exploration is necessary.
  • MitaI see.
  • KogaThe ship used for cable installation has a cable tank on board that contains a roll of submarine cable, and it takes time just to reel in the cable on the ground.
  • MitaWhat do you mean?
  • KogaTo install a submarine cable between Japan and the U.S., we need to reel in the cable in units of about 3,000 kilometers. This reeling work is done manually. Just doing it takes three weeks or so.

Picture:Ship used for cable installationShip used for cable installation

  • MitaWow! Just loading the cable on the ship takes three weeks?
  • KogaAfter going out to sea, we lay the submarine cable, which, in the case of one between Japan and the U.S., takes several months. During the project, members are at sea all the time. There are long-term submarine cable installation projects, some of which take over two and a half years from exploration to completion. But, knowing that all of this helps support people's lives, we find this job worthwhile.
  • MitaIt's your efforts that make it possible for us to watch images and videos on YouTube and other Internet sites. What I've heard from you has made me think anew about how our livelihood is supported. Ms. Koga, thank you very much today.
  • KogaIt's been nice sharing my knowledge with other people. Thank you for having me on your program.

Conclusion
We have brought to you a two-part interview on submarine cables. How did you like it? The interview was full of surprises, from the technology to transmit massive amounts of data to a godlike act of laying a submarine cable on the ocean floor.

From now on, whenever you use Facebook or Twitter, the story about the submarine cable may come to mind, possibly leading you to see things from a different angle than in the past.

See you in the next installment of "MiTA TV"!

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