TERABIT SPEEDS. CHICAGO RFQ NOT EVEN CLOSE

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

Terabit speeds are what we should be aiming for as a solid goal for any major metropolitan city’s backbone network infrastructure objective. If we really want them to be a leader in global broadband connectivity tomorrow, this is the bar to set today. If you set the bar that high, and only attain 50% of its goal, you still will be world-class.

Copyright 2014 - James Carlini - All rights reserved

Copyright 2014 – James Carlini – All rights reserved

Evidently, no one told that to those who developed and released the Chicago RFQ for “a gigabit or near-gigabit network”.

Chicago has just sent out an RFQ for Broadband Infrastructure Expansion (#122737) which asks for speeds that are obsolete.

Gigabit or near-gigabit? For a network that will not be operational for at least another 24 to 36 months?
This is obsolete before they send the first packet across.

An 800-acre business park in the Chicago suburbs that I discuss in my upcoming book and was an adviser to, installed 40 Gigabit per second (40Gbps) connectivity several years ago. It’s operational TODAY. Want to be competitive today? The going speed is 40Gbps moving to 100Gbps in a short timeframe.

In my book, I go around the world discussing examples of other next-generation business parks which offer 10Gbps, 20Gbps, or better network speeds serving their tenants.

Chicago’s statement, in its RFQ declaring

….to ensure that Chicago is prepared to meet the demands of a 21st century economy.

The City’s first step toward achieving affordable high-speed internet access for all Chicagoans will target seven Innovation Zones with gigabit-or near –gigabit -speed broadband and focus on providing immediate access to businesses, universities, and organizations located in these core industrial and commercial area

rings pretty hollow in comparison.

“Prepared to meet the demands of a 21st Century economy”?? With one gigabit OR LESS network speeds to end users? This is supposedly to get the city more competitive on the global economic stage?

Whoever is advising the city has no clue where the ‘state of the art” in network infrastructure is, or how fast it is going to the next plateau of network speeds.

Get me some Smartphones and I will show you how fast that bandwidth gets eaten up by those end-user devices which are quickly becoming the “device-of-choice” as the new edge technology.

Other parameters the Chicago RFQ highlights are laughable at best, and technologically unacceptable at worst. Here are some excerpts of it that I have a problem with:

Providing the resources necessary for Businesses, Universities and other organizations to succeed and thrive is necessary for Chicago to remain a global leader and pioneer. Availability of and access to an affordable high-speed broadband network is now a critical component of urban infrastructure, similar to electricity, water, and roadways.

The infrastructure must be capable of providing 99.9% availability, be resilient with low latency and jitter, and ensure that packets sent and received at the network edges are identical.

You ARE NOT going to “remain a global leader and pioneer” with reliability rates of only 99.9% availability.

Do you really believe large businesses like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Boeing, or any of the banks are going to trust their mission critical applications on networks that are running with only a 99.9% reliability?

Most businesses with mission critical applications want the insurance of 99.995% to 99.999% availability rates. With enterprise-wide mission critical applications currently at one-out-of-three and quickly growing to one-out-of-two applications, who is going to want to use a 99.9% reliable network?

Maybe if we relate it to snow storms, Chicago might “get it”. Don’t ask for one ton of salt when you really need 1,024 tons to get businesses moving and competitive.

Something more visual? You look absolutely foolish chanting “we’re going to be Number one” from your two horsepower horse-and-buggy parked on the NASCAR track amongst the other 1,200-horsepowered cars lining up for the race.

That’s the problem when political leaders and their advisers are technologically Amish. Understand the technology, know how to apply it, and get someone who is not a cheerleader to tell you how you are perceived on the world’s racetrack of economic viability and sustainability.

CARLINI-ISM: When it comes to network speeds, you need to be the fastest to say you’re world class.
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Carlini’s visionary upcoming book, Location Location Connectivity will be available later this year.

COPYRIGHT 2014 – James Carlini

2 responses to “TERABIT SPEEDS. CHICAGO RFQ NOT EVEN CLOSE

  1. Here’s an interesting and very current discussion I found on the same topic – and that uniquely addresses some of the fundamental problems/reasoning why even a major metropolitan City/State like Chicago IL plans are for Gigabit speeds are already obsolete today … http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57619736-94/leading-to-the-gigabit-promised-land/ … Big Data, Analytics & Business Intelligence demands alone will quadruple the bandwidth demand in just a few short years – pressing the need NOW for Terabit and even Petabit speeds. It won’t be that long before the need for their close relatives – Exa, Zetta & even Yotta will be real with the explosion the Cloud and Unstructured data is having on organizations! ~

    • Thomas – thank you for your comment and observation. I have been pressing for faster speeds for years because I understand how quickly you can use up what you think are years of extra capacity. Twenty years ago, when I was the Consultant to the Mayor’s Office for the planning of the Chicago 911 Center, I argued for installing fiber optics to connect the central offices with the 911 Center. Ameritech did not want to and I said that it would obsolete the building before it even opened up in 1995. Luckily, we got the fiber instead of copper and then afterwards, Ameritech took a lot of credit for connecting the Center with fiber even though they were the ones trying to initially hold the city back to utilizing copper instead of fiber.

      What the City is requesting now, is totally obsolete and a waste of time.

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