Also known as a MAN, a metropolitan area network is basically a bigger version of a LAN and normally uses similar technology. It might cover a group of nearby corporate offices or a city and might be either private or public. A MAN can support both data and voice, and might even be related to the local cable television network. A MAN just has one or two cables and does not contain switching elements, which shunt packets over one of several potential output lines. Not having to switch simplifies the design.

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