I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a purported representative of DeepBore Networks, yet another startup said to be taking aim at the low latency bandwidth market from a very unique angle.
TR: I thought all reasonable routes for fiber between NYC and Chicago were already in use, how do you intend to reduce latency by yet another couple of milliseconds?
DB: We decided to now reduce the latency introduced by following the contours of the land. There are two major sources of latency there. The first is that even the straightest routes must follow reasonable paths around mountains and celebrity estates and other geographical features. But even worse one must follow the curvature of the earth rather than go in a geometric straight line. Therefore, we're going to dig conduit directly through the Earth's Crust from the sub-basement of 60 Hudson in NYC all the way to 350 East Cermak in Chicago.
TR: Just how much shorter is this new proposed route?
DB: By going underground all the way in a perfectly straight line, we can cut the distance to just 700 miles. With the right gear we should be able to break the 10ms barrier.
TR: How wide will it be?
DB: Just one meter, we're not talking about something you can drive a truck through. Alongside the conduit will be a maintenance tunnel large enough for a one person capsule. Every 75 miles there will be a cubic regeneration cave about 10 feet on a side. What used to be a 'truck roll' will have the engineer simply strap on his tool belt, lie down in the capsule, and be dropped feet first into the Earth at speeds approaching the speed of sound. Our mean time to repair will be the fastest in the industry.
TR: Even still, tunneling underground for 700 miles has to be insanely expensive, how can you possibly justify it financially?
DB: Those guys on Wall Street will pay anything for the shortest route, you know that. Nevertheless, financial creativity will be critical to our success, but already we've had some great luck. After just a few miles of digging we found a body about a mile under the swamps of Secaucus wearing concrete shoes. We're going to name the site the Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Regeneration Hut and sell tickets as well as colo space.
TR: But drilling a hole that long and deep is a really big job with no precedent to guide you. Where will you get the expertise from?
DB: We were lucky, there was a whole team recently downsized from BP with recent experience drilling really deep holes miles below the sea floor. Heck, we're not even underwater here, it'll be a piece of cake. Maybe we'll try a transatlantic route next.
TR: Just how deep will the tunnel go?
DB: We will pass 18 miles below Youngstown OH and then start back up. Don't worry, there will still be four miles of crust below us before we get to the Earth's mantle - plenty of safety margin.
TR: Won't it get hot down there?
DB: Of course, but we will be harnessing that geothermal energy to run the gear, the capsules, and all the air conditioning and ventilation. We will sell any excess to the public grid in both cities. Our carbon footprint will be zero if not negative. We won't burn a single lump of coal, though we might find some.
TR: Aren't you worried about running into a lava plume somewhere along the way?
DB: Don't worry, we have a federally inspected blowout preventer in place at all times. It performed flawlessly in our basement test facility with heavy mud, and we have full confidence in its ability to hold back mere molten iron 18 miles below the surface of the earth. Its lightweight plastic construction makes it easy to swap out for maintenance. So you don't have to worry about a lava gusher in the middle of Manhattan, it'll never happen.
If you have gotten this far and still think this article might have any truth at all to this interview, then Happy Belated April Fools' Day! FWIW, the 700 mile direct bore and 18 miles below Youngstown are pretty close to correct according to my calculations. The rest is merely the product of a deranged mind on a Friday, the effects of a busted air conditioner, too much caffeine, and an underutilized engineering degree that has apparently turned inward on itself.