“The first trans-Atlantic cable was completed in 1858 to connect the United States and Britain. Queen Victoria commemorated the occasion with a message to President James Buchanan that took 16 hours to transmit.” While I’m not sure we can say the same for the quality of discourse, transmission speeds have improved quite a bit since then. The route, however, is much the same. The NYT with an interesting look at the undersea cables that connect the world. How the Internet Travels Across Oceans. “People think that data is in the cloud, but it’s not. It’s in the ocean.” (That explains the salty language.)