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Advances in fiber-optic and VLSI technology have led to the emergence of very high-speed networks based on asynchronous transfer mode (ATM). The time required to transmit the data into the network at the source is small compared to the delay to propagate the data from source to destination. Cell loss is also a major concern in ATM networks because waiting for the retransmission of lost cells delays the delivery of cells and requires substantial buffer space. The instant start protocol eliminates the costly bandwidth reservation delay before transmission can begin. Simultaneously, it provides lossless transmission even when the network cannot handle the offered rate of transmission. Unlike other lossless protocols, instant start requires relatively little special control hardware or processing at each switch