When Gaussians pdf python return 0 infinity grow up I’ll be an inventor. I happened to write a mail about it that I’m now going to recycle and turn into this blog post so that in the future, I can just link to this if it ever comes up again. MIT, so in Cambridge, MA.
The best guess for a single-way trip is to just divide the RTT by 2, giving me an estimate of about 35ms for my ping packet to make it from Seattle to Boston. 3rds of the speed of light in vacuum. 3c rule of thumb that I won’t bother differentiating between different types of cables in the rest of this post. I’m neglecting height differences and Earth being not quite spherical here, but I’m only doing a back-of-the-envelope estimate.
Note that the actual measured one-way latency I quoted above is already well below twice that. Hence my earlier comment about even a factor-of-2 improvement being unlikely. That’s a decent trade-off when your plan is to have an actual Internet and not just one very fast link. The remaining 11ms of the transit time are, presumably, spent with the packets briefly enqueued in some routers, in signal boosters and network stacks. These are the parts that could be improved with advances in network technology. But even reducing that part of the cost to zero still wouldn’t give us even a full 1. And that’s why I think mainstream network tech isn’t going to get that much faster anytime soon.