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CHARBONNEAU – Look to the sea for the internet, not the clouds

Q9 servers. (Image: Q9.com)

OUR CONNECTION to the internet seems so ethereal – it’s as though data materializes out of thin air. This illusion is a result of the final hop of our connection to the internet.

I find the illusion compelling, especially when it comes to travel outside of Canada. Before the internet was readily available, I would travel with a short wave radio and string up an antenna to get news over the airwaves from home.

Now my computer substitutes for my short wave radio and the internet substitutes for the airwaves. I listen to thousands of radio stations around the world on my computer with no fading in and out. It’s easy to think of the internet as a medium of the air.

The notion of our data being in the “cloud” furthers that illusion. But, in fact, the cloud couldn’t be more grounded. The servers that provide data storage exist in concrete bunkers around the world. One of them is on Bunker Road in Kamloops. It’s owned by Q9, a Canadian company running data centres across the country.

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David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.

About Mel Rothenburger (7727 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on CHARBONNEAU – Look to the sea for the internet, not the clouds

  1. Actually the cables are laid among the underwater ridges which makes them relatively shallow and longer because a direct route from continent to continent is usually not possible because of deep underwater gorges. Marvellous technology indeed but the “cloud” needs huge quantities of electrical power to support it, with a large carbon footprint (direct and indirect) along with it.

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