Mega-Bite: Google plans shark-proof Internet cable between US and Brazil

Google is taking measures to prevent marine predators from disrupting Internet services by installing a shark-proof underwater cable.

The search engine giant is part of a consortium looking to build a 6,560 mile undersea connection between Brazil and the US.

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The cable will be capable of transferring 64Tb of data every second. To put that in perspective, Google Fibre offers Internet speeds of 1 Gb per second, a 64-thousandth of the new underwater installation.

The glass fibre-optic interior will be protected by a polyurethane jacket and protective aramid vest. Based on previously Internet blackouts, it is thought that sharks sometimes mistake electrical currents for prey and attack underwater cables.

The new cable will also help bridge the country's socio-economic divided, particularly when it comes to affording an Internet connection. Brazil is currently ranked fifth in the world in terms of Internet users and earlier this year became the first country to legally authorise net neutrality.

Despite this, access to the Internet is particularly poor amongst young people, with student access at just 60 per cent. The Brazilian government has implemented a number of schemes in order to make technology available to the poorer sections of society, including an investment of $400 million (£248 million) in 2005.

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While unconfirmed, shark attacks have been suggested as a previous cause of online disruptions. Back in May, Swedish firm Telias speculated that sharks may have been the reason for a major slowdown of traffic between the US and Asia.