In her project Seeing Networks, author Ingrid Burrington seeks to better understand the scale and ubiquity of the Internet by examining its physical infrastructure. Her project is currently focused on New York City, where she has identified all manner of Internet infrastructure, including various antenna, buildings, manhole covers, and street markings. The project can be viewed on her website and in an upcoming book, Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide. The book can be pre-ordered or it can be found at Eyebeam’s 2015 Annual Showcase in Brooklyn through February 21, 2015.
“A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is basically a way to expand a cell network’s reach, adding capacity in under-covered areas. They’re a little easier to find on the street because they’re not on top of buildings–they’re attached to street poles and linked to underground fiber-optic networks. If you ever see an orange cable marking going into a street pole, look up. You’ll probably see a DAS.”
“Level 3 Communications began trading on NASAQ in 1998 and received its franchise to build a fiber optic network in New York City in 1999. They are a major Tier 1 network, which means that their network has a direct connection to every other network online without paying fees to do so. In 2012, Level 3 received a $411 million contract from the Department of Defense’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide fiber cable and maintenance support to DoD networks. This is just something that is interesting to know.”
images by Ingrid Burrington