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Facebook's Undersea Infrastructure

Professor Nicole Starosielski

“The reality is that the cloud is actually under the ocean,” said Nicole Starosielski, associate professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University. “Files in the cloud are typically housed in a data center. But it doesn’t become a cloud unless there are cables.”

Facebook has intruded into one small West coast village in a very physical way. The social media giant has plans to construct a landing station for a fiber optic submarine cable on the beaches of Tierra del Mar, Oregon. 

As Nicole Starosielski explains, it's a misconception that information travels through an ethereal "cloud." Her book, The Undersea Network, documents the infrastructure responsible for carrying global Internet traffic.

Nicole Starosielski

Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication