Re: Crazy idea!

Dan Clemmensen (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 21:54:31 -0500

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> How do the cost of overland/undersea fibre relate to a cloud of
> line-of-sight laser LEO relays? On long distances, the LEO latency
> should be even lower, slower speed of light in glass vs. vacuum
> considered. Given the fight over the dirty last mile, cellular, or
> even LEO wireless might be ISP's smartest choice, if launch costs to
> LEO are indeed to drop as predicted. Anybody aware of work on
> affordable antenna technology capable of direct ground-to-LEO?
> (WSI phased-array, anyone?)
The undersea cable is almost certainly cheaper for long-haul, and has a huge advantage in ease of upgrade. As to breaking the local telco monopoly on the "last mile" ("bypass technology"), radio works pretty well, in many forms: look at cellular and satellite phones. Interstingly, the "G3" cellular proposals (i.e., third-generation cellular protocols) are currently being worked out. they are supposed to permit data rates to 2Mbps (burst), which is a huge leap. Another neat idea is to use long-duration aircraft circling over big cities at a very high altitude to deliver MAN services via radio trasponders.