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Signal TrafficCritical Studies of Media Infrastructures$
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Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039362

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039362.001.0001

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Fixed Flow

Fixed Flow

Undersea Cables as Media Infrastructure

(p.53) Chapter 2 Fixed Flow
Signal Traffic

Nicole Starosielski

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the relationship between media content and the capacity of hard infrastructure, offering a framework for understanding how particular technologies, social practices, and natural environments can be conceptualized as media infrastructures. It then develops a relational approach to media infrastructure that delineates the multiple routes and effects of global undersea cable networks. There are five ways undersea cables function as a media infrastructure: they become resources for media activity; alter everyday experience of media temporarily; shape one's susceptibility to media censorship and surveillance; solidify global relationships of media power; and serve as a platform where publics can affect the dissemination of media content.

Keywords:   media content, media infrastructures, undersea cable networks, media activity, media censorship, media surveillance, media power

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