Frame relay (and X.25) forwards frames across virtual circuits. These circuits can be either permanent, meaning they are programmed in advance, or switched, meaning the circuit is quickly built when it is needed and torn down when it is no longer needed. The permanent virtual circuit (PVC) works like a private line for a customer with an agreed-upon bandwidth availability. When a customer decides to pay for the committed rate, a PVC is programmed for that customer to ensure it will always receive a certain amount of bandwidth.

Unlike PVCs, switched virtual circuits (SVCs) require steps similar to a dial-up and connection procedure. The difference is that a permanent path is set up for PVC frames, whereas when SVCs are used, a circuit must be ...

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