One of the great strengths of IP networking is the huge variety of different technologies that have been successfully used to move packets over long and short distances. We begin this chapter with a discussion of some of the major systems that are used to transport packets. We will then discuss several factors that need to be considered when evaluating transport technologies. A discussion of some of the impairments that can occur on networks follows next. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the Internet as a transport medium and a brief look at service levels. By the end of this chapter, the reader should have a good appreciation of the wide variety of options available for IP packet transport and should understand ...

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