Inter-exchange media types

The problem for the major exchanges may soon be what to do when the
gigaswitch runs out of bandwidth.

Right. I don't believe the 800Mb/s claim of the GIGAswitch's backplane,
since I thought it was 3.5Gb/s or something. But either way, the bottleneck
is going to be the 100Mb/s port speed, and the ISP backhaul. Even if we had
a 200 port GIGAswitch with a 200*100Mb/s full cross bar backplane, we would
soon reach the point where the individual 100Mb/s ports were just too full.
And if we had 1000Mb/s Ethernet with a full cross bar switch in the middle,
we'd discover that OC12 intercarrier backhaul is very difficult to get.

As I've said before, I believe that this is going to push us in the direction
of more and more NAPs so that everyone can do the hot potato routing thing as
early and as often as possible. Many medium pipes will add up to the nec'y
aggregate bit rate, with some great cost in complexity compared to a few fat

Ceding the "core" to the people who own their own trenches and who can there-
fore build out reasonable worldwide OC12 or OC48 nets is another approach but
I'm not entirely comfortable with the transit rates they'd probably charge if
their corporate officers knew they had a monopoly.

I've chosen to leave my usual dire predictions about the inevitability of ATM
out of this particular message; you've all heard it before, anyway.

There ought to be a business opportunity in here somewhere.

And this is precisely what is happening now as regional exchanges are
being set up all over the place in Utah, Pennsylvania, Texas, the
Phillipines and so on. Not to mention the number of large ISP's that are
moving towards things like national frame-relay networks of their own.

If you want to understand how this is all going to play out, study the
shape of soap bubbles in a foam, the way to connect power systems in 4
cities arranged at the corners of a square using the shortest wires and
the distribution of market towns in any of the ancient civilizations.

Michael Dillon Voice: +1-604-546-8022
Memra Software Inc. Fax: +1-604-546-3049 E-mail: