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Circuit Switching

Circuit switching establishes a circuit (a circuit being all the phone lines used to connect the sending and receiving devices) during the communication session between sender and receiver. This means that, temporarily, the lines are dedicated to that communication session. Then, when the session is over, the circuit is immediately “torn down” and becomes available for another communication session.

Every time you pick up the telephone and make a phone call, you are taking advantage of circuit-switching technology. A circuit is established during your phone call. However, the circuit might be different (meaning different phone lines are used) each time you call the very same person. Two important WAN technologies that are circuit-switched are ISDN and DSL. Let’s take a closer look at each.


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