basic routing procedure was tested by a Monte Carlo simulation of a 7x7 array
of stations. All tables were started completely blank to simulate a worst-case
starting condition where no station knew the location of any other station. Within
1/2 second of simulated real world time, the network had learned the locations
of all connected stations and was routing traffic in an efficient manner.
Paul Baran, On
Distributed Communications, Volume I, 1964.
The Internet operates at near light speed, which on
a planet the size of Earth often practically amounts to near real-time.
Digital information such as Internet
at 2/3 of the speed of light on copper wire and on fiber optic cables. Since
light speed is about 300,000 kilometers a second, this means digital communications
travel at about 200,000 kilometers
slowing down only because because copper and fiber optic materials
are about one-third thicker
than a vacuum.
At this speed and neglecting switching delays, two computers have to
be more than ten thousand kilometers apart, or almost half way around the world,
a tenth of a second in communications delay.
With fixed near-optimal transmission speed, there are only two ways
to make Internet networks faster -- increase the number of bits that are traveling
at once down the connection, or increase the speed at which you switch them
to another at the junction points.
are getting faster and faster with switching speeds nearing instantaneous, while
fiber optics and wireless technologies are enabling networks to send much
larger numbers of bits at once. The Internet is getting even faster.
services to test the speed of your own Internet connection.