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With the advances in fiber-based transmission systems that operate at gigabit rates and with the introduction of high-speed networks, the course of communication and computer technologies has changed forever. This change requires that new attention be focused first on the creation, then on the control of networks, which now contain high-speed links and integrate heterogeneous traffic. IBM's Networking BroadBand Services (NBBS) architecture has been designed to enable this networking revolution and, in particular, is designed for the high-speed, multimedia networks needed by emerging applications. In this paper, we present the Rapid Transport Protocol (RTP). Its simple and efficient mechanisms enable NBBS control information to be transported and distributed, taking advantage of high-speed links by eliminating as much nodal processing as possible. RTP provides point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transport services with a reliable delivery option. In addition, we present a simple and efficient mechanism for fast dissemination of time-critical network configuration and path update messages to every node in an NBBS network, making use of RTP.
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