I am travelling and have carried my trusty notebook to "be in touch". Unfortunately, most of the time I am connected at nothing better than a lousy 9600 bps.
In the midst of the eternal wait for a Web page to download, I slip into my favorite pastime— daydreaming. If only things were better… If only I had more bandwidth…how much faster would life have been?
Well, for starters, I could have had a faster modem. A 33.6 kbps modem would have given me almost four times the bandwidth that I was getting. A 56 kbps modem would not have given me any more bandwidth than a 33.6 kbps one. But in Mumbai or Delhi, on VSNL, I could have expected downstream speeds of up to 56 kbps and upstream speeds of 33.6 kbps.
If only I had had access to ISDN, then I could have got 64 kbps or even 128 kbps. Coming into one machine that is real fast, but hardly the best that money can buy. Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN) would have given me a million and a half bits per second!
If any of the DSLs were available, I wouldn’t have cribbed about bandwidth. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) would have given me anywhere from 1.5 to 9 Mbps in the downstream direction and 16 to 640 kbps upstream. If I had SDSL, (Symmetric ...), I could have got 3 Mbps both ways.
Now suppose that the cable guy in that area also gave cable modem access to the Net. And if only I had access to one full channel, I would be having 27 or 38 Mbps downstream, depending on the equipmen the has, and 5 or 10 Mbps upstream. Boy, wouldn’t that be some bandwidth? And that is not the end of what money can buy. We still have a long way to go.
I could go in for a T1 line. That would give me 24 channels of 64 kbps or 1.544 Mega bits per second. If I did not want that much, I could go in for fractional T1s. And if I wanted more, I could opt for T3s. A T3 line would give me 672 channels of 64 kbps each—a whopping 43 Mbps. Now what would I do with that sort of bandwidth? Well, my setup could straight away become part of the Internet backbone, and I’d be one of the major ISPs of the world!
If not satisfied with this, I could go in for Optical Carriers. OC-1 would give me 51.85 Mbps while OC-3 would triple it to 155.52 Mbps. OC-12 would take me to 622.08 Mbps and OC- 24 would double that. OC-48 would double even that, to give me 2.488Gbps!
However, I have no choice, but to continue to download my mail at 9600 bps. Who was it that said: If wishes were horses, beggars would fly? Whoever that was, he knew what he was saying.
All I can do right now is, like Oliver Twist, ask for more bandwidth, that is, and hope that Bumble, the Beadle, has become kind-hearted with the passage of time... And wait for that page to download.
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