Access Networks

Access Networks

Having considered the applications and end systems at the "edge of the network" let's next consider access networks - the physical links that attach an end system to the first router (also known as the "edge router") on a path from the end system to any other distant end system. The following figure shows various types of access links from end system to edge router; the access links are highlighted in thick, shaded lines. This section surveys many of the most common access network technologies, roughly from Iow speed to high speed.

We'll soon see that many of the access technologies employ, to changeable degrees, portions of the traditional local wired telephone infrastructure. The local wired telephone infrastructure is provided by a local telephone provider, which we will simply refer to as the local telco. Examples of local tacos include Verizon in the United States and France Telecom in France. Each residence (household and apartment) has a direct, twisted-pair cooper link to a nearby telco switch, which is housed in a building called the central office (CO) in telephony terminology. (We will discuss twisted-pair cooper wire later in this section.) A local telco will normally own hundreds of COs, and will link each of its customers to its nearest CO.

Access networks


end systems, telco, links

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