A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a large computer network that usually spans a city or a large campus. A MAN usually interconnects a number of local area networks (LANs) using a high-capacity backbone technology, such as fiber-optic links, and provides up-link services to wide area networks (WAN) and the Internet.
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.||”|
- ↑ IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Overview and Architecture. Amendment 2: Registration of Object Identifiers (full-text).
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