"I think we have enough tests to know that the transport is ready and the architecture would work," he added.
Chan said he's been in talks with router companies about the new architecture. The router companies, along with major Internet service providers, would have to buy into his plan.
"Assuming the technology works as advertised, the main drawback will be the cost of rolling out the new gear and optimizing the Net so that it takes best advantage of the new stuff," Olds said. "New cutting-edge technology isn't cheap, and while prices will drop over time, they will only fall if the volume for the equipment is there."
Olds also noted that it might take a little doing for major ISPs and user organizations to swallow that expense.
"There will be considerable expense in adopting this new technology, not just in the new hardware, but in testing and optimizing the Internet so it can take advantage of the higher speeds," he added. "Given that the new equipment will be more expensive, it isn't going to be easy to convince the providers to adopt it right away. Just because the speed of light is the fastest thing we know, it doesn't mean they'll pay big bucks harnessing it so I can get my e-mail faster. They're going to need to be convinced that the higher transmission speeds and lower power requirements will help their bottom line."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com .
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