Joel Jaeggli wrote:
The relevant charts and or current navigation software have the cables
well marked because mariners have an obligation under several
international treaties (going back to 1884) not to hit them...
All very good points. Thanks for pointing this out. Just so we're clear, while I
was passing along information provided by a third party I wasn't suggesting
whether obfuscating, or attempting to hide, or make public, location information
posed a problem or had any merit one way or the other. You've presented somewhat
of a Gordian knot here, it would appear.
Consider, while it's extremely difficult for a customer to obtain information
concerning his or her own overland fiber routes without the signing away of their
first born, here we have, ironically, a situation where underwater cables of far
greater import are clearly marked on charts and made freely available through
software under the international treaty terms. Very interesting, but as you
suggest, a condition that's existed for a very long time.
Where continental shelves come into play, this problem has been partially
mitigated since 1970, when TAT-5 between R.I. and Spain was implemented using the
first "sea plow" to bury the cable several feet down off Rhode Island. That
having been said, not all shorelines sit on top of continental shelves, and even
where trenching is used on a shelf, it, too, poses its own perils during repairs,
when dangling cable ends are lost in a mire of mud clouds that take hours to
settle after divers use water pressure to find them while kicking up sediment on
In other situations some operators resort to using radio communications and
sometimes small craft to ward off ships from cabling lanes. Years ago piper cubs
were used to buzz encroaching ships and drop tons of leaflets on them warning
them to stay away. Today they'd probably get shot down.
Right about here I'd expect a visit from Sean Gorman, who has had his own share
of grief to deal with in this respect while plotting the nation's overland fiber
routes. In fact, the title of his book is tres apropos to the problem you
Networks, Security And Complexity: The Role of Public Policy in Critical
Infrastructure Protection by Sean P. Gorman (Hardcover - Sep 5, 2005)