Just as the second forms the basis for other units of time, the light-second can form the basis for other units of length, ranging from the light-nanosecond (299.8 mm or just under one international foot) to the light-minute, light-hour and light-day, which are sometimes used in popular science publications. The more commonly used light-year is also presently defined to be equal to precisely 7007315576000000000♠31557600 light-seconds, since the definition of a year is based on a Julian year (not Gregorian year) of exactly 365.25 days, each of exactly 7004864000000000000♠86400SI seconds.
Communications signals on Earth rarely travel at precisely the speed of light in free space. Distances in fractions of a light-second are useful for planning telecommunications networks.
One light-nanosecond is almost 300 millimetres (299.8 mm, 5 mm less than one foot), which limits the speed of data transfer between different parts of a large computer.
One light-microsecond is about 300 metres.
The mean distance, over land, between opposite sides of the Earth is 66.8 light-milliseconds.
Communications satellites are typically 1.337 light-milliseconds (low earth orbit) to 119.4 light-milliseconds (geostationary orbit) from the surface of the Earth. Hence there will always be a delay of at least a quarter of a second in a communication via geostationary satellite (119.4ms times 2); this delay is just perceptible in a transoceanic telephone conversation routed by satellite.