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Any area, any network

Next generation long haul networks can embrace the cost savings of Ethernet through innovative solutions. By By Mark Donovan and Keith Conroy.

It’s easy to believe that transporting binary digits across vast distances is seamless and effortless. Whilst it may be predominantly seamless, thanks to the huge efforts that go into making it so, effortless it clearly is not.
Nor is it without cost; digital bandwidth is one of the few commodities in the modern world that can be broken down to its smallest denomination for financial purposes. The cost of transmitting each bit of data is calculable, meaning not only can the cost/bit be determined, but the increasing volume of traffic also contributes to the overall expenditure of transporting every single and subsequent bit.
This may not seem a massive problem; more bits transmitted would suggest that, once the infrastructure is deployed, it must surely and rapidly become profitable. But it isn’t the cost/bit of transmitting data that is of concern; rather, it’s the cost/bit of moving data between different types of networks. This is not only significant, but could also present a financial bottleneck in the expansion of digital networks.
The problem is partly masked by the terminology – the terms ‘local area networking’ (LAN), ‘metro area networking’ (MAN) and wide area networking (WAN) imply the same transport protocols are used throughout. In reality, there is a disconnect between LAN and MAN/WAN, and it is bridging this disconnect that represents the bottleneck.

By Mark Donovan and Keith Conroy

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