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RFC 567
Cross Country Network Bandwidth.
L.P. Deutsch. September 1973.

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Network Working Group L. Peter Deutsch (PARC-MAXC) Request for Comments: 567 September 6, 1973 NIC #18970 CROSS-COUNTRY NETWORK BANDWIDTH The following computation of cross-country network bandwidth was contributed by Butler Lampson of PARC. Consider what happens when a TIP user on the West Coast, connected to a full-duplex Host on the East Coast, strikes a key on his terminal. The TIP sends a one-character message (1 packet). The destination IMP sends a RFNM (1 packet). The destination Host sends an ALLocate - this seems to be the strategy used by TENEX Hosts, at least (1 packet). Thc TIP sends a RFNM for the ALLocate (1 packet). The same sequence repeats itself, with roles interchanged, for the echo character (4 packets). This constitutes 4 packets or 4OOO bits in each direction. The current cross-country transmission capability of the ARPANET is 3 5OKb phone lines; ergo, it can only support 3*50000/4000=37.5 such characters per second! It may be that RFNMs are transmitted between IMPs more efficiently; at best this can only double the network capacity. This computation may help explain why cross-country TIP users (e.g. the substantial West Coast community of BBN-TENEX users) experience such bad echo response, at least in bursts: the network itself may be experiencing momentary peak loads. If this argument is correct, the proposed remote echoing facilities of the new TELNET protocol could have a major effect on network operation.


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