Reliable sources tell me that Intellifiber is preparing to light the lowest latency route between the NYC and Chicago metro areas. Rumors peg the latency at all sorts of physically impossible numbers, but the new route will likely check in just below current SLA'd latencies of about 17ms. In addition to speed, the route will be physically diverse from other high speed routes, which will help add resiliency to the new generation of financial networks. The latency war that began in 2009 continues to heat up, and the NYC-Chicago route is one of the major flash points. The speed title currently is, last I heard, held by Level 3, a fact which won them quite a few deals despite their other revenue woes last year. Do they have any more fiber held in reserve to up the ante? Just how low can we get on this route before we need some new laws of physics?
The new route will supposedly come online sometime this quarter. So where does this route come from? Intellifiber is the independently run wholesale fiber arm of Cavalier, and the fiber it will likely be using for the new route could come from several sources. They inherited fiber IRUs on the Level 3 and WilTel networks that Dominion Telecom originally bought back in the bubble, but this particular route derives mostly from a unique build of Dominion's, also dating back to the days when people liked to build networks without worrying about pesky things like revenues. That's where its physical diversity will come from.
Personally, I think that like a pack of greyhounds, the financial companies chasing the latency rabbit will find it far less tasty after they've caught it. But who am I to argue with buyers willing to pay premiums for bandwidth? Bring'em on.
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