The reason for the difficult northern route is FLAG’s pursuit of diversity, which in this case is not a politically correct buzzword (though FLAG also has plenty of that kind of diversity) but refers to the principle that one should have multiple, redundant paths to make the system more robust. Diversity is not needed in the deep ocean, but land crossings are viewed as considerably more risky. So FLAG decided, early on, to lay two independent cables on two different routes, instead of one.

The indefatigable Jim Daily, along with his redoubtable inspector Ruzee, drove us along every kilometer of both of these routes over the course of a day and a half. “Let me ask you steam market cs go a na?ve question,” I said to him, once I got a load of the big rock ridge he was getting ready to cut a trench through. “Why not just put one cable on one side of that southern highway and another cable on the opposite side?” I found it hard to imagine a backhoe cutting through both sides of the highway at once.”

They just wanted to be sure that there was no conceivable disaster that could wipe out both routes at the same time,” he shrugged.

FLAG has envisioned every possible paranoid disaster scenario that could lead to a failure of a cable segment and has laid action plans that will be implemented if this should happen. For example, it has made deals with its competitors so that it can buy capacity from them, if it has to, while it repairs a break (likewise, the competitors might reserve capacity from FLAG for the same reason). Despite all this, FLAG is saying in this case: “We are going to cut a trench across a 50-mile-wide piece of rock because we think it will make our cable infinitesimally more reliable.” Essentially, they have to do it, because otherwise no one will entrust valuable bits to their cable system.