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The transmission links between devices in a computer network may introduce significant errors because the links are analog, whereas computing devices are digital. Moreover, the design error rates for transmission links are often much higher than those tolerated for digital computing devices. Computer hardware and software have been designed to provide recovery when errors occur on communication lines. In the first paper in this issue, Bryant takes this process one step further by continuously monitoring the telephone lines used for data transmission. Line quality monitoring improves network availability by locating line problems before they become critical and by recording the causes of intermittent errors. Experiments at one installation show that use of this method greatly increased circuit availability.
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