What Is a Metropolitan Area Network?

A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a network of fiber optic cables that is intended to serve people, businesses and organizations in a city or a larger geographical area. Its coverage area is larger than a local area network (LAN) area but smaller than a wide area network (WAN) area.

An MAN is publicly owned and gives open access to all telecommunication operators. MANs can be found in large cities, such as London, England, Geneva, Switzerland, and Lodz, Poland. This network can be used by businesses to provide services, such as Internet access, CCTV, telecoms, television and telematics. Large universities also utilize the term MAN to define their campus networks.