MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

How Large Is the MBONE?

Today, about 1,700 networks (in about 20 countries) are on the MBONE (see Figure 3-1), making the MBONE approximately the size that the entire Internet was in 1990. Unfortunately, there is no way to know how many people within each of the 1,700 networks can access the MBONE.

Figure 3-1: Topology of the MBONE.

The size of the MBONE, compared to the Internet as a whole, is relatively small. As of February 1995, the Internet was home to 48,500 subnetworks, so the MBONE was available on roughly 3.5 percent of the Internet.

Pavel Curtis estimates that by 1996 or 1997, multicasting will be broadly supported in routers. When that happens, and upgraded routers are installed in place of unicast routers, the MBONE and the Internet will effectively be one entity. (See Figure 3-2.)

Figure 3-2: Growth of the MBONE.

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