Submarine optical cable history

September 17, 2023
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Submarine optical cable communication has a history of more than 100 years. In 1850, the Anglo-French Telegraph Company began to lay the world's first submarine cable between Britain and France, which could only send Morse telegraph code. In 1852, the Undersea Telegraph Company connected London and Paris with a cable for the first time. In 1866, Britain successfully laid the transatlantic submarine cable (The Atlantic Cable) between the United States and Britain, realizing transatlantic telegraph communication between the European and American continents. After Bell invented the telephone in 1876, submarine cables acquired new functions, and the pace of large-scale laying of submarine cables in various countries accelerated. In 1902, the global submarine communication cable was completed.

China's first submarine cable was built by Liu Mingchuan, the first governor of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty. In 1886, he laid a waterway wire connecting the entire island of Taiwan and the mainland, mainly for sending telegraphs. By 1888, a total of two water lines had been completed. One was the 177-nautical mile water line between Chuanshi Island in Fuzhou and Huwei (Taiwan) in Taiwan. It was mainly used to provide the Taiwan government with reporting to the Qing court on Taiwan’s natural disasters, public security, and finance, and to provide Used for business communications; the other is the 53-nautical mile waterline from Anping, Tainan to Penghu. The mainland landing point at Chuanshi Island off the coast of Fujian still exists, but the specific landing point in Tamsui, Taiwan is no longer available.

Compared with terrestrial optical cables, submarine optical cables have many advantages: First, laying does not require digging tunnels or supporting brackets, so investment is low and construction speed is fast; second, except for landing areas, most cables are on the seabed at a certain depth and do not Affected by the damage of the natural environment such as wind and waves and the interference of human production activities, the cable is safe and stable, has strong anti-interference ability and good confidentiality performance.