Here’s everything that you need to know about How does the Internet Work?

Submarine Cable Installation
Written by kishan

In today’s era, an individual can stay 3 hours without water or Food. But Internet? Can you stay without internet even for 30 minutes? No!

Even though the internet is a young technology, it has become a necessity these days. Every working individual today needs internet to get their work done. The internet lets you transfer any kind of information around the globe in no time.

But have you ever wondered how the internet really works? How does two people with the same plan gives different speeds to them both? Why are there so many different operators with different Tariff Plans? Who owns the internet?

At first you might have thought that the internet works through satellites or there are some networks spread all around you which lets you connect to it only when you pay for it.

Here are all the answers for all the confusions and myths that you have regarding the Internet.

How does the Internet Work?

Ninety Nine percent of internet in this world works with the use of Optical Fiber Cables.
Basically the Internet reaches you via Optical Fiber. Now you might be wondering that there are no cables connected to your mobile but still you can use the internet. The reason behind this is the 3-Tier System.


Submarine Cable Map

Initially the optical fibers are used to connect the countries. This is done by putting the Optical Fiber in the oceans and seas all around the world. These Optical Cables which are also known as the Submarine Cables are spread throughout the world inside the oceans and are then bifurcated state-wise.

Hence, the company that installs these cables into the water are known as the Tier 1 Company. For example Tata Communication is one such company that has installed optical fiber cables in the ocean.

You can also check the Submarine Cable map here. It shows all the cables that are installed worldwide by the tier 1 companies as a part of their investment.

Internet you use can also be free If you install the optical fiber cable say from your home to your office. The only charges that you need to pay is for the cable installation and maintenance. Similarly Tier 1 companies have already installed cables worldwide and provides you with the internet services.

For example, Reliance Jio has installed submarine cables between Asia, Africa and Europe and hence they can afford giving you free internet services.

More About the Optical Fiber Cable or the Submarine Cable:

This is a cable laid on the sea-bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea. These cables are laid into the sea bed with the help of special Cable Layer Ships.

Today almost 99% of the data traffic carried by these cables are carried out under the sea. The optical fiber has hair line size wires each of which contains about 100 Gbps speed. These cables have a carrying capacity in terabits per second.

The reason satellites are not chosen over optical fiber cables is that the satellite can carry only 1000 megabits per second with  higher latency. Hence even though the submarine cables cost several hundred million dollars to construct, it is prefered over satellite connections.


Now the countries are inter-connected using the submarine cables. The next step is to take this internet services to the states and then to your door steps.

Hence, the Tier-2 companies take the internet connection(in simple language) from tier-1 companies in Gbps giving some amount and then this connections reach till your home by the Internet Service Providers which are known as the Tier-3 companies which pays a bigger amount to the Tier-2 companies.

Internet Distribution

Hence the internet is free but the charges are taken because the installation and maintenance process costs a huge amount of money.

Taking the process further, the tier-2 companies further installs various towers in the country at specific distances to take the connection from oceans to every state of the country.

Say, for example, a company has installed one such tower with 100GBps bandwidth in your area. So, everyone in your area is using this connection to use the internet and hence the bandwidth gets divided. So if we consider 20Mbps speed, 5 people can use the 100Gbps bandwidth.

Speed variations in internet:

Considering the speed of internet in your area, the speed is divided area wise as described before. But the second that should be taken into consideration is the SERVER.

Let us take an example to understand the speed variations because of servers.

Say for example you are accessing amazon.com in India. Now they have a server installed in Banglore which lets you access the website directly from India without any kind of data passage from the submarine cable even though it’s main server is in the US.

Similarly, big companies like Google Flipkart, etc have their servers installed in several countries for faster access of their websites.

Now if you are accessing a website using a Proxy, then it might take longer for the website to load as the data is passed from your country to its servers company and is then transferred back to your device.

Server in your own country lets you keep your data safe and secure.

In India, there is a Neutral Internet Access Point named as NIXI(National Internet Access of India) where in a server is made and installed in India itself. Hence, private information of Indians like Aadhar Card Details are kept within India without transferring any kind of data via submarine cables to other countries.

Such companies are formed by the collaboration of Tier 2 and Tier 3 Companies.

What if the Optical Fiber is Cut in between?

There is a possibility that the cables installed in the sea might get broken due to natural events or the fishing trawlers.

Hence store stations are located to detect break in the cables by electrical measurements like SSTDR. It can detect a fault in about 20ms. Once a cable damage is located, a cable repair ship is sent to the location . Next the submersible is sent to the location inside the sea and hence the cable is fixed.


Concluding the internet working, first, the optical fibers are installed into the sea beds by the tier 1 companies which are then distributed into states and your doorstep by tier 2 and tier 3 companies respectively.
We hope that you are now aware about how the internet works.  If you have any queries you can post your questions in the comment section below. We will surely reply.

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