Definitions

metropolitan area network

metropolitan area network

metropolitan area network (MAN): see local area network.
Metropolitan area networks, or MANs, are large computer networks usually spanning a city. They typically use wireless infrastructure or Optical fiber connections to link their sites.

IEEE definition

The IEEE 802-2001 standard describes a MAN as being:
A MAN is optimized for a larger geographical area than a LAN, ranging from several blocks of buildings to entire cities. MANs can also depend on communications channels of moderate-to-high data rates. A MAN might be owned and operated by a single organization, but it usually will be used by many individuals and organizations. MANs might also be owned and operated as public utilities. They will often provide means for internetworking of local networks. Metropolitan area networks can span up to 50km, devices used are modem and wire/cable

Authors Kenneth C. Laudon and Jane P. Laudon of Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm 10th ed. define Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) as:

A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a large computer network that spans a metropolitan area or campus. Its geographic scope falls between a WAN and LAN. MANs provide Internet connectivity for LANs in a metropolitan region, and connect them to wider area networks like the Internet.

Implementation

Some technologies used for this purpose are ATM, FDDI, and SMDS. These older technologies are in the process of being displaced by Ethernet-based MANs (e.g. Metro Ethernet) in most areas. MAN links between LANs have been built without cables using either microwave, radio, or infra-red laser links. Most companies rent or lease circuits from common carriers due to the fact that laying long stretches of cable can be expensive.

DQDB, Distributed Queue Dual Bus, is the Metropolitan Area Network standard for data communication. It is specified in the IEEE 802.6 standard. Using DQDB, networks can be up to 30 miles (50km) long and operate at speeds of 34 to 155 Mbit/s.

Several notable networks started as MANs, such as the Internet peering points MAE-West, MAE-East, and the Sohonet media network.

Related networks

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