By Stephen Fleming
(Part II of a two-part commentary. Read Part I, “In Transportation, as in Technology, Packets Beat Circuits,
” at http://www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=5482
Atlanta grew up around cars. It’s fundamentally a packet-switched infrastructure. Ask any telecom engineer. You cannot replace a packet-switched infrastructure with circuit switching for any reasonable amount of money. Can’t be done.
“But they do it in New York City,” I hear you cry. Yes, and that’s because New York City grew up around mass transit. It’s physically different from Atlanta (or pretty much any other town in America outside the Northeast, except maybe Chicago). The circuits are dense enough to have connection points within walking distance.
Look at the cities with successful public transit…