Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.
Networks prior to the Internet were largely closed systems, and the cost of communicating was extraordinarily high. In those days, the free exchange of ideas at all levels was held back by cost. On the Internet, for a cost proportional to a desired amount of access bandwidth, one can communicate with a billion others. This has propelled human achievement forward over the last 20 years. By way of Metcalfe’s law, the Internet’s value is immeasurably larger than any private network ever will be.
So why do large private service delivery networks still exist?
The answer lies primarily in one word: reliability. What Metcalfe’s law doesn’t cover is the reliability of communication of connected users, and the implications of a lack of reliability on the value of services delivered. Although Internet reliability is improving, much like the highway system, it still faces certain challenges inherent with open and unbiased systems.
On a well run private network, bandwidth and communications are regulated to deliver an optimal experience, and network issues are addressed more rapidly as all components Continue reading