Response: RFC 1925 Errata Report – May be Possible to Exceed Speed of Light

I just noticed this update to the greatest IETF RFC of all time, RFC1925 - The Twelve Networking Truths:

Section 2. (2) says:

(2) No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority, you can’t increase the speed of light.

It should say:

(2) If you try really hard, and have the right equipment (or suitable funding), you might be able to increase the speed of light. Or not, we’re not sure yet.

via RFC 1925 Errata Report.

In short, there are research papers suggesting that it is possible to exceed the speed of light therefore some changes the RFC may be needed to reflect the possibility that communications might occur at faster than light speeds.

The EtherealMind View

While it good to see that older RFCs are being updated to reflect new practices, I feel that it might be too early to make this call. For many engineers, the only constant in networking is that the speed of light is immutable. We often recite that to managers who whine about slow performance, cost, etc etc.

But that’s only because explaining the speed degradation of electricity in a copper medium, or laser in a fibre optic core is far too complex for most people to understand. It’s easier to say light has a maximum speed.

Therefore, even if we can exceed the speed of light, it’s most likely that the process of making it useful make it slower than the speed of light.

And RFC 1925 would still be right.


About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

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