[ntp:questions] A Suggestion For Abolishing the Leap Second

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Tue Jun 5 11:40:09 UTC 2007

David Woolley wrote:
> In article <1181017458.302921.71210 at n15g2000prd.googlegroups.com>,
> Quadibloc <jsavard at ecn.ab.ca> wrote:
>>Managing the Internet:
>>- A leap second means that millions of network router operators, in
>>addition to periodically referencing their clocks to time signals,
>>must also explicitly make an adjustment for the leap second at the
>>proper time to forestall problems.
> I don't understand this one.  Routers don't need accurate time in order
> to route, and NTP is quite capable of signalling the leap seconds with no
> operator intervention.

Nor do I understand it.  The internet could go on working if no two 
clocks agreed  to within a minute.  This is NOT the case with 
frequencies however!  The technology uses time division multiplexing 
which requires precise clocking in order to figure out which bit is 
which.  This does not require absolute time; only delta time.  The clock 
must tick exactly at the top of the microsecond but nobody cares if it's 
6:00PM or 6:01PM.

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