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In this paper the issue of the architectural organization of a bandwidth broker with respect to the distribution of functionalities among separate entities is examined. We discuss the benefits of a distributed versus a centralized architecture and study some of the most important implementations. We also present a novel design proposal that builds on our earlier work on the admission control module of a bandwidth broker and introduces it in the framework of a distributed bandwidth broker architecture. Our conclusions are supported by a series of simulated experiments that we analyze.