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Google Wrapping High Speed Optical Fiber in Kevlar-Like Material to Withstand Shark Attacks

August 18, 2014

Google Wrapping High Speed Optical Fiber in Kevlar-Like Material to Withstand Shark Attacks

By Oliver VanDervoort
Contributing Writer

While most people are hoping they will be one of the next communities to get Google (News - Alert) Fiber, the Internet giant is working hard to find ways to protect its equipment as it rolls it out to more places. During the Google Cloud Platform Developer Roadshow in Boston, Product Manager Dan Belcher announced one of the ways the company is trying to make sure its product is safe and secure. Escapist reports the company has started wrapping its high speed optical cables in a kind of Kevlar-like material that is strong enough to stand up against a shark bit.

This particular material is especially important as Google Fiber goes live in more places that are located on the coast. When fiber has to be rolled out underwater, there is a very real danger the animal life in that region is going to damage the cable. The danger is more than just a company wanting to protect its individual investment. If a shark is able to chew through the cables, it can interrupt coverage and customers aren’t going to be able to get online.

Those who feel as though Google might be making up stories should realize that reports of sharks attacking cables have been surfacing since the 1980s. Despite those reports, no one seems to have a solid idea as to why the fish are going after these cables. Some believe they are attracted to the magnetic fields given off by the cables.

Whatever the reason, Google has realized that it will be less costly to try and protect the cables that are out there, then trying to solve the mystery of the attacks. This is another move that could also give the company another leg up on competition who are already trying to play catchup. By protecting these cables, they might be able to charge less in the long run, because there will be less replacing and maintenance done.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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