Where do subsea cables systems go when they die?

31 May 2013 |

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Like ancient relics from a bygone era, the first generation of subsea cable systems, now sit at the bottom of the world’s oceans slowly becoming buried in sediment and seaweed. A lucky few have become homes for small communities of fishes and crabs. Most, however, no longer have any purpose in life. And for them, the sea is a desperately sad and lonely place.

Like ancient relics from a bygone era, the first generation of subsea cable systems, now sit at the bottom of the world’s oceans slowly becoming buried in sediment and seaweed. A lucky few have become homes for small communities of fishes and crabs. Most, however, no longer have any purpose in life. And for them, the sea is a desperately sad and lonely place.

That was until Arthur came along.

Where others saw only despair, Arthur saw hope. He has made it his mission in life to give these pieces of fibre a new purpose in life.

I first came across Arthur when I was hugely hung over at this year’s Suboptic. He was sat all alone on his miserable looking stand as dozens of delegates passed him by.

I suppose I pitied him a little. I also quite urgently needed to collect some business cards to appear like I had done some work. I liked the fact that he had some pictures of animals on his branding. But I also recognised he was as wise and as old as the trees.

Through his thick South African accent, Arthur told me all about his vision for giving fresh purpose and life to these old monsters of the sea. They could be unwound and made into fencing to keep livestock from running away. Their metal could be melted and made into pots and cans for starving African children (even though they have no food or water to put in them). At the same time, Arthur also made himself a tidy profit to buy lots of biltong.

I want to thank Arthur. Not only for bringing hope and life back to these subsea cable systems, but for also restoring my faith in wholesale telecoms.