speed limitation with scp and sftp using openssh

I am running aix 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 using various
versions of openssh.

why is there a speed limit in copying files from one
machine to another. The speed appears to cap out at
around 7-8 mb/sec. This is on a gigabit network.
I know encryption has overhead, but not that much.
scp and sftp is the commands used to copy files.
It makes no difference what version of ssh/aix, it all
has the same results.

if I used rcp or ftp, it's very fast.

Any thoughts?

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