(B) As someone else mentioned, it's 180,000mps.
Yes, I missed the m. 186 miles per millisecond.
(C) Electricity does not travel as fast in wires as light does in a vacuum.
Correct, but then light does travel fairly fast in a fibre (about 120miles per ms), and nobody uses coax for long distances anymore, certainly not traders that value every microsecond.
At 596 miles, the speed of light is indeed 3.2ms. Add in switching delays, etc. and you get closer to 5ms, and that's assuming fiber.
I don't understand what else it would be. Unless the U.S. is a network backwater, there's fibre. A dedicated fibre connecting two devices will be less than that.
But ALL of this is really beside the point. The knowledge that they were going to do it was presumably public. And even if not, and it was "insider" knowledge, it's still beside the point. Because they traded too early. 7ms advantage today is a significant advantage for HST.
You're right, obviously it was insider trading. However trading after the knowledge has become public is not illegal. When does the knowlege become public? At 14:00 in Washington, but is it the speed of the fastest propagation? The slowest?
How about this, you have a system in washington waiting for the message. As it comes out, you send a 2 bit unique number to indicate up/level/down, this is sent via shortwave. You can send 10bits per millisecond via shortwave (9600baud). That's 0.2 ms, plus the speed of radio waves in the atmosphere, plus a bit for refraction. I could see you could get it in well ahead of 7ms, probably under 4ms.
The question is, if I know something, and act on it after it's made public, when does it become public?