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The theoretical issues of scheduling for capacity allocation in multiple access networks using in-band and out-of-band signaling are addressed. The analysis is carried out under the hypothesis that the "scheduling epochs" consist of bandwidth-dependent and bandwidthindependent components. The ultimate limitation on channel capacity rests with the bandwidth-independent component. It is shown that over the range of practical interest, scheduling using a separate side channel is superior to in-band scheduling in that, under similar conditions, the former attains a higher usable channel capacity.