Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors: documentary on the net's hidden physical infrastructure

Ben sez, "I want to share a short documentary that I recently produced about the hidden Infrastructure of the Internet called Bundled, Buried and Behind Closed Doors. The video is meant to remind viewers that the Internet is a physical, geographically anchored thing. It features a tour inside Telx's 9th floor Internet exchange at 60 Hudson Street in New York City, and explores how this building became one of the world's most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity."

Lower Manhattan’s 60 Hudson Street is one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible.

Featuring interviews with Stephen Graham, Saskia Sassen, Dave Timmes of Telx, Rich Miller of datacenterknowledge.com, Stephen Klenert of Atlantic Metro Communications, and Josh Wallace of the City of Palo Alto Utilities.

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors (Thanks, Ben!)



  1. Hey google, why don’t you take a few of those billions you’ve generated and sink it into a major network hub in West and East Africa. If you build it, will they not come?

  2. Awesome, thanks so much for this post Cory! Want to add a quick shout out to Alex Chohlas-Wood, who was the cameraman and producer for this short.

    Dave- security and vulnerability is always a part of the conversation when we’re talking about critical infrastructure. 60 Hudson Street is a bit of a choke point, but every time I’ve asked folks this question, they tell me that it would be disruptive for 60 Hudson to go down, without being catastrophic to the entire global Internet. In other words, it’s still relatively distributed. Thanks for watching! (SaberUK – yes, exactly, there should be redundant paths. How redundant is tough to say, though–there’s no real master map here. Every network operator has their own).

    Also, the link to my website is broken above – for the curious, you can find more on the video at http://www.benmendelsohn.com

  3. Whoa, why was “God Hates Fags” one of the websites during the websites-flipping-by-quickly montage (~1:34)?

    1. Not the first time I’ve gotten that question… In short, I have a mildly unhealthy obsession with online hate groups, particularly this one. By day, I work in online marketing for an American gay & lesbian civil rights group, and when I stopped to think about a series of images to reflect the spectrum of web activity, this one sprung into my head. Thanks for watching!

  4. Interesting premise for a short documentary, but a couple of things limited my enjoyment – mostly the uneven narration (sound volumes switch, sometimes every other sentence) and somewhat jumpy montages (very quick cuts on archive footage, long, drawn-out stills of new tech). At one point, it spends about a full minute on the “why 60 Hudson?” question – which I found was sufficiently answered before with the offhand remark that it was iterated through telecom technologies since the telegraph. The minute that is spent recalling the point really doesn’t add much to that. After that minute, the documentary somewhat loses focus, crowned by the footage of S.Sassen that I have trouble finding content in, even after the third try.

    I’m afraid that in the end, it’s a documentary of somebody standing in front of network hubs. Sorry to be a downer. The best advice I can give is: Do less, edit more, be tough on your content.

    (Note to the editor: The “Ben” link lacks an ‘l’)

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