Tag Archives: telecom

Under the sea

Just layin' cable...

I hate it when I learn about something from Cracked, but not as much as I hate not knowing everything there is to know about undersea transcontinental communication cables.

When as a kid we went to the beach, I’d stare at the vast expanse of ocean and think, “So there must be cables somewhere under there, huh? Unreal.”

I just couldn’t imagine something that long that was man-made and durable. I mean, seems like utility stuff broke all the time on our street, but they — and by “they,” I mean The Collective of Humans Who Make Stuff I Don’t — could string a cable across the ocean floor and keep it working? (This all sounds sad, but I did look at other things on the beach, too. A kid has lots of free time, though.)

And this was all well before I spliced shilled for a telephone telecommunications company, of course.

(Ah, memories: “That massive blackout sucked, huh? Even cell towers were out? Well that’s why you need a landline, which is independent of the power grid. It’s the safe choice. So c’mon, pay us.  … Oh, P.S.: About that plugged-in cordless phone you have connected to your landline…um, yeah, whoops.”)

Anyway, the best part of that Cracked write-up is this map of all the world’s undersea cables, which I could just stare at for hours and hours because it’s so beautiful. (I almost wish I were joking.)

I guess the second-best part was phrasing like this:

If enough of these high-pressure porn hoses were compromised, international Internet communication could collapse entirely.

Great capture of the spectrum of the Internet right there.

Sometimes I wish we had Internet-Free holidays or something, just so people would step outside for air and maybe look up from their phones mobile data devices for a moment. Then again, I don’t much like people talking to me, and I guess that’s what would happen if the Internet turned off.

To cut that off at the pass, I’d probably start talking about undersea cable.

‘Important Information Enclosed’

No, see. It’s not important information enclosed. Not at all.

In fact, I know it’s the same offer you, as my cable “provider,” have issued to me month after month after month. Because you’re afraid the big telephone company is coming to take my TV money away.

Which is why you keep offering to “lock in” a price for two years, and you’ve been offering to “lock” this in for the past 18 months, even though it hasn’t changed in that time, because you’re afraid of me taking my TV money to … the big telephone company.

It’s cute how you keep including in this “lock in” two additional services I don’t want, ones that would actually increase my monthly blood debt to you substantially. All in the IMPORTANT INFORMATION ENCLOSED envelope that has long since lost its meaning, not to mention effectiveness.

It’s also cute that you send me the exact same form letter month after month after month, but pretend like it’s new, under the mistaken hope that one day I’ll buy it. That one day I’ll think, “Hey! They’re right! That’s some doggone important information they enclosed!”

You and your kind devalue our language with this shit, like how “URGENT! RESPOND BY DEC. 5!” no longer has any meaning. At all.

So I have IMPORTANT INFORMATION for you: I’m not actually a “valued customer,” because I will drop you at the first opportunity — so eager am I to be used by some other blood-sucking company and their equally important information.