War for the Web
09 11.11

Infrastructure!

The Internet is a physical thing. While it doesn’t live and breath, there’s a whole ton of cables, wires, pipes, air conditioners, servers, etc… that make the whole network function. the infrastructure is a pretty fascinating topic, and it really makes a person aware of the actual physical investment required to build the Internet and maintain service. This stuff isn’t free, or even cheap. Creating a worldwide Internet is an infrastructure project akin to creating the railroad, or putting satellites in orbit from a manpower and cost perspective.

New School grad student Ben Mendelsohn explores this topic in a short project, entitled Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors. He takes us inside 60 Hudson street, which is one of the largest Internet hubs in North America. It is owned and operated by a company called Telx, which makes money by connecting major service providers and businesses.

There is at least one other building like this in New York City, currently owned by Google, but 60 Hudson is particularly fascinating because it is an old Western Telegraph building, it has actually housed communication infrastructure for more than 75 years, just more recently it has been digital infrastructure. It’s a beautiful old building, filled with some of the newest technology on the planet.

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