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 Medium access protocol - In a communications network, the part of the data link layer that supports topology-dependent functions and uses the services of the physical layer to provide services to the logical link control.
 
  
 Metropolitan area network - A data communications network that covers an area larger than a campus area network and smaller than a wide area network (WAN), interconnects two or more LANs, and usually covers an entire metropolitan area, such as a large city and its suburbs.
 
  
 A code in which data and clock signals are combined to form a single self-synchronizing data stream, each encoded bit contains a transition at the midpoint of a bit period, the direction of transition determines whether the bit is a 0 or a 1, and the first half is the true bit value and the second half is the complement of the true bit value. Contrast with non-return-to-zero.
 
  
 The maximum rate, in bits per second, at which binary information can be transferred in a given direction between users over the telecommunications system facilities dedicated to a particular information transfer transaction, under conditions of continuous transmission and no overhead information.
 
  
 1. In telecommunications, the transmission path along which a signal propagates, such as a wire pair, coaxial cable, waveguide, optical fiber, or radio path.
2. The material on which data are or may be recorded, such as plain paper, paper tapes, punched cards, magnetic tapes, magnetic disks, or optical disks.
 
  
 A network topology in which there are at least two nodes with two or more paths between them.
 
  
 In telecommunications record information expressed in plain or encrypted language and prepared in a format specified for intended transmission by a telecommunications system.
 
  
 A method of handling message traffic through a switching center, either from local users or from other switching centers, whereby the message traffic is stored and forwarded through the system.
 
  
 A station in the mobile service intended to be used while in motion or during halts at unspecified points.
 
  
 The process, or result of the process, of varying a characteristic of a carrier, in accordance with an information-bearing signal.
 
  
 In a network, a technique that allows data, including packet form, to be simultaneously transmitted to a selected set of destinations. Note: Some networks, such as Ethernet, support multicast by allowing a network interface to belong to one or more multicast groups.
 
  
 The combining of two or more information channels onto a common transmission medium. In electrical communications, the two basic forms of multiplexing are time-division multiplexing (TDM) and frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). In optical communications, the analog of FDM is referred to as wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM).