Did you know that the first telegraphy/telecommunications traffic that used cabling nestled in the seabed was placed in 1858? Incredible, isn’t it? Back in those days they used copper wire, whereas today we use fibre optic cabling, but the theory is the same. 
The first cabling laid in 1858 was limited in its capability and was soon superseded by a more comprehensive cabling system with more effective insulation surrounding the wire and in 1866 transatlantic cabling was used to transfer vast amounts of data between nations. Fast forward to the 1980’s and the UK was transmitting 99% of data to the US via these seabed cables (albeit fibre optic updated) with speeds of tens of terabits per second. 
Unfortunately, this technology could be used in a more detrimental way too. When WW1 broke out, the allied armies chose to cut cabling to ensure that the German forces could not intercept war strategies. By cutting cabling it was possible to cut Germany off from the rest of Europe as far as telecommunications was concerned. Today, threats of removing cabling on the seabed still exists in time of war and therefore there is a small shift to the use of satellite instead of purely seabed cabling, especially for an island nation such as the UK. 
All of the above sparked quite some interest for me and made me think about how one might contribute to securing the technological future of the UK. Well, it would appear that to be in with a chance of assisting with big projects such as seabed cabling or indeed use of satellite for telecommunications would require a master’s degree in electrical engineering or a telecommunications equivalent. It’s too late for me of course, and I’m not sure I would even have the intellect for such things, but it might not be too late for you! Aim high, I say! Why not start with an engineering course with www.coursedetective.co.uk and see where that takes you. You never know you may appear in history books as the person who found alternative telecommunication sources for the UK! 
Tagged as: UK, university
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