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Posted to the Gilder forum - November 29, 2000

Bitrate vs. Lambdas

Big Jim:

Let me use a different analogy. All airplanes fly at 600 miles per hour, both the public 747s and the private Lear jets. Lets suppose that a million people want to fly from where they are to somewhere else. Some fly 747s and others fly Lear jets. All fly at the same speed, 600 miles per hour. While the Lear Jet (lambda) delivers only 10 people, the 747 (40 Gbps), delivers 400 people. If you have a large number of Lear jets you can deliver the same number of people as with a smaller fleet of 474s.

I think you will agree that an airport that handles only 747s will be designed differently than an airport that handles only Lear jets. As a matter of fact, there will be more smaller airports to handle Lear jets and fewer large airports to handle 747s. Not only that, smaller airports tend to be closer to the user's home base than large airports.

Why do I go on with this example? Because it is a perfect analogy for the Telecosm. The airports are the Exodus centers. Communication between airports (core) is different than communication between home and airport (edge).

What is a Virtual Private Network? The ability to fool somebody into thinking that he is flying in his private Lear jet while in fact he is on board a big 747 with stacks of other people.

I think you will grant me that no single user has a need for a 40 Gbps connection (OK, so the president of the United States flies a 747! :-), in that case, why build them? Why not build many, many Lear jets.

Sorry, but I don't know how that will play out. GG votes for Lear jets but lets see what reality brings.

"Demand creates queues. Supply gets rid of them."

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