On Distributed Communications Series

X. Cost Estimate


An estimate of the expected costs of the proposed Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network is given.

While the network can be expanded to accommodate over 1,000,000 simultaneous users, the base used in these cost estimates assumed a partial network of 400 Switching Nodes, providing a "high-speed," cryptographically-secure, error-free, highly reliable, survivable service to 100,000 simultaneous users tied into 200 major Multiplexing Stations in the continental United States.

The important message of this series of Memoranda is the specific distributed concept--its merits, feasibility, flexibility, and survivability. Incidental to this message is the absolute, or even relative cost.

As it is anticipated that construction of such a network will not be started until all components of the final system have been built and thoroughly tested, a development program, starting with a general, broad study and leading to a final implementation scheme, is described.

The estimated cost for the system, if built and operated as described, assuming a usable life of ten years, is about $60,000,000 per year, based on amortizing a capital investment of $235,000,000. It seems only fair, however, to state that these estimates are based on a level of austerity and a mode of operation uncommon and unique among communication systems.