Section of TAT-8 transatlantic optical fibre cable, 1989

Made:
1989 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Section of TAT-8 transatlantic optical fibre cable in display case, made by British Telecom International, British, 1989. Brass plaque inscribed:- 'Section of TAT-8- the first transatlantic optical fibre cable. Presented to the Science Museum, London, by Mr. Alan Jefferis, director, satellite and lines, British Telecom International, on 22nd March 1989'.

Section of TAT-8 transatlantic optical fibre cable in display case, made by British Telecom International, British, 1989. Brass plaque inscribed:- 'Section of TAT-8- the first transatlantic optical fibre cable. Presented to the Science Museum, London, by Mr. Alan Jefferis, director, satellite and lines, British Telecom International, on 22nd March 1989'.

The TAT-8 cable was the first fibre-optic transatlantic cable. The project was managed by AT&T, British Telecom and France Telecom. It was inaugurated in December 1988 and had a capacity equivalent to 40,000 calls, ten times that of the last copper cable. It covered 6700 km between Widemouth Bay, Cornwall, and Tuckerton, New Jersey. A branching unit about 500 km from Cornwall allowed France to also be connected. There were 120 electronic regenerators (repeaters) in watertight housings along the route. This sample is taken from the deep-water section, and has an aluminium skin beneath the outer cladding to protect it from shark bites. It was retired from service in 2002.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Exchange

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Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1990-60
Materials:
aluminium (metal), copper (alloy), metal (unknown), plastic (unidentified), rubber (unidentified), steel (metal), wood (unidentified)
type:
optical fibre
taxonomy:
  • fibre
  • synthetic fibre
credit:
Donated by BT Heritage and Archives
status:
Permanent collection

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