Internet on the South Pole

I've occasionally wondered how they manage to get Internet to research bases at the North or South pole. You might think they'd use satellites, but to communicate with a satellite you need direct line of sight; communications satellites in geostationary orbits, due to the curvaceous nature of our planet, are under the horizon and cannot be seen from the poles.

So how do they do it? Cable? Pretty unthinkable, I thought. However, according to this article that's exactly what they're planning to do: lay a cable nearly 2000 km across the polar ice to the South Pole. It also, more interestingly, explained how they currently manage to get Internet access: by exploiting ageing communications satellites that have drifted out of their geostationary orbits and can therefore be just seen part of the day…

Candace commented:

short answer: black island uplink. long answer:

Oh yes, and at the pole:

Posted 17 August 2006 Copyright © Stig Brautaset