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Microwave Networks explained

“Microwave networks themselves are incredibly old hat. Way back in 1949, New York and Chicago (712 miles apart as the eagle flies) were connected by a 34-hop line-of-sight microwave network operated by AT&T. In the UK, from the mid-1950s until the 80s, the nation’s trunk communications network was fashioned out of microwave radio links; it carried everything from television and telephone to national defence data.”

“Microwave networks have two key advantages: radio signals travel through air about 50 percent faster than light moves down fibre, and you can (usually) build microwave links in a straight line between the two end points. The latter aspect means that the total physical distance travelled by a packet can be significantly reduced, plus you have the option of building the microwave network so that it actually terminates near the user, meaning packets have to traverse fewer routers.”


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