Multiple-Access Protocols for High-Speed Networks

Optical fibers have the potential to carry tens and even hundreds of Gbits/sec of information. The question of how to share these large capacities between many users through an efficient, flexible, and low cost network is a challenge. Standards are now being proposed that will decide the protocol for what might be called the third generation of local area and metropolitan area networks. This article explores the principal classes of protocols that permit efficient sharing of high-speed channels.

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