Updating exisiting networks in bottleneck comapnies
They planned prudently (at least, so they thought) for steady growth in voice communications, which at the time was their bread and butter.“That’s the bottleneck,” laments Steve Schilling, presi-dent of access networks at Nortel Networks.And this metro-loop constriction isn’t just a problem for the companies that run the networks. But the data racing through the telecom backbone can’t fulfill its mission until it is shuttled through the “metropolitan loop,” a complex network of cables and switches that delivers those bits to businesses, factories, schools and homes.It’s there that the information gusher narrows to a relative trickle, because the metro loop is every bit as tangled as downtown rush-hour traffic.On the user end, high-speed networks run at billions of bits per second (gigabits).But the metro systems that link these two high-speed networks poke along at mere millions of bits per second (megabits).If the broadband revolution is ever to be a reality, the metropolitan bottleneck must be broken. Upgrades in the metro loop have been far slower in coming than advances in the backbone.
But R&D aimed specifically at the metro loop is slowly pushing a variety of solutions out of the laboratory and under the streets.
And if we really want broadband, those fixes had better work.
Regular folk experience it as trunk-line busy signals and stalled Web browsers.
If you’re looking for a culprit here, don’t finger the phone companies that run the metro loop.
Weak Link To grasp the scale of the bottleneck, consider the metro network’s place in the telecom ecology.In the backbone, transmission speeds are measured in trillions of bits per second.