A brief history of Global Marine Systems

This article is over a year old and as such may be out of date.

Subsea cabling has been around for well over 150 years, with original development stretching back into the 1850s. The history of this industry is one with fascinating developments, taxing voyages and the eventual lead-up to the connected world of today.

A key company throughout this development has been Global Marine Systems, with roots as historic as the subsea cabling industry itself.

The first copper cable was laid between England and France on the 29th of August 1850 by a small paddle steamer. At the time, the cable effort was lauded as a triumphant achievement - and for good reason. Nothing of the scale had been attempted before, and communication that had previously taken weeks or months would now take mere hours. To suddenly revolutionise how people communicate was an astonishing feat.

This first revolutionary cable didn't stay functioning for long though, and subsequent attempts at subsea cabling also ended well short of their expected life span. If the industry was to continue, greater development and continued trial and error would be needed.

Today, the subsea cable industry has expanded exponentially, with fibre optic technology now carrying more than 99 per cent of the world's data and voice communication. While satellites and other systems provide some measure of communication, no other technology can provide the sheer scale, resilience and reliability of subsea cables.

At present, the world contains nearly a million miles of cabling running along the ocean floor, from the North Sea down to the South Pacific.

The number of submarine cables is certain to grow in the near future, especially in developing regions of the world. It's likely further subsea cables will needed to meet global telecommunications demand as both customer and business use rises.

Global Marine is a leading provider of engineering and underwater services, providing subsea cable installation, maintenance and burial services around the world. With a fleet of vessels and specialised subsea equipment, we bring a 160 year legacy in deep and shallow water cable operations.


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