Circuits To The People, Right On

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Oh that last mile. There are many providers of connectivity solutions out there, but getting them to your door can be a major challenge. There are initiatives to provide WiFi access, and some vendors are building their own facilities, but it doesn’t address the problem.

The Local Exchange Carrier (LEC)

The LECs are what we got when the Bell Telephone monopoly was broken up into smaller monopolies. They own the last mile into homes and businesses in their region. Connectivity either comes from them or rides the “last mile” over their lines. For example say you want to bring in a Sprint Internet circuit in Chicago. You would have to obtain a local loop from AT&T to complete the connection. This, of course, comes with an access charge, but it also complicates troubleshooting. You enter into a situation where multiple vendors are pointing fingers at each other.

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Elephants on the network – LFNs (Long Fat Networks), Bandwidth Versus Latency

Monday, April 30, 2007

I can’t tell you how many times I have had to explain to someone who has just updated their connection to 10, 45, 100 Mb so they can quickly transfer there critical files to the other side of the planet only to find they aren’t getting any better throughput than they had before. This is a common misunderstanding about the relationship between bandwidth and throughput. The bottleneck is not the bandwidth, it’s the latency, and it is tough to argue with the speed of light.

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That Pesky Close Door Button

Monday, April 23, 2007

I work in a building with an elevator. Just about every day I am in the elevator with someone who is furiously pushing the door close button. Some days I just laugh to myself, others I need to restrain myself from throttling the individual. When I feel generous, I tell the person the truth, pushing that button won’t make the doors close faster.

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