sell shell accounts?

If you have full use of the fiber across which you move your packets you
can create a mesh of PVCs directly connecting each router thus decreasing
the hop count. The same can be done when using an existing cell-relay cloud,
but you pay on a per pvc basis so the benefit needs to be weighed against the
cost. Of course the packets still flow along the same physical path and in a
wide area network the time in transit will be more significant than the time
to get through the routers.


Nope, remember - there is no magic. Any mesh of PVCs that one makes
over a switched network must reflect the toplogy of that network, and
one can set up a matching set of active routing sessions and route
weights which will cause traffic to flow the same way.

Yes, the switches are a bit faster and have less to do. Data moves through
them in a few ms less per point. But as you said (and as I said in our
discussion in NYC), relative to any distance, the speed of light guarantees
that you won't notice the difference.

The question is: Will there be routers available that can make IP
routing decisions based on 40-60kroutes and move 2-3 OC3s worth of
bidirectional traffic? The building of the configs to have a routed
network work the same as a switched ATM one can be automated, but it's
true that it *can be* easier to see what's going on in a large-scale
switched network.