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In this paper, we introduce a control theoretical analysis of the closed-loop congestion control problem in packet networks. The control theoretical approach is used in a proportional rate controller, where packets are admitted into the network in accordance with network buffer occupancy. A Smith Predictor is used to deal with large propagation delays, common to high speed backbone networks. The analytical approach leads to accurate predictions regarding both transients as well as steady-state behavior of buffers and input rates. Moreover, it exposes tradeoffs regarding buffer dimensioning, packet loss, and throughput.