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Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches and Internetworking Protocols, Second Edition by Radia Perlman

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Chapter 15. WAN Multicast

Introduction

This chapter discusses layer 3 multicast. Sometimes people like to use the term broadcast as if it were conceptually different from multicast. I don't think we need the word broadcast, and the fewer jargon words the better. In layer 2, broadcast is supposed to mean "everyone," but because "everyone" doesn't have to listen, it simply means "everyone listening to the broadcast address," which is no different from multicast. In layer 3 when people try to define broadcast and multicast, they sometimes define them as follows.

  • Broadcast: deliver data to every link, perhaps within a specified range.

  • Multicast: deliver data only to links on which there are receivers.

Sometimes it's still considered broadcast if data ...

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