Metropolitan area network

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A metropolitan area network (MAN) is a computer network larger than a local area network, covering an area of a few city blocks to the area of an entire city, possibly also including the surrounding areas.[1][2]


Also known as a municipal area network, networking technologies used in municipal networks include Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), FDDI, and SMDS. However, these technologies are increasingly being displaced by Ethernet-based connections (e.g., Metro Ethernet). MAN links between local area networks have been built with wireless links using either microwave, radio, or infra-red laser transmission. Most companies rent or lease circuits from common carriers because laying long stretches of cable is expensive.

Distributed-queue dual-bus (DQDB) refers to the metropolitan area network standard for data communication specified in the IEEE 802.6 standard. With DQDB, networks can extend up to 20 miles (30 km) long and operate at speeds of 34–155 Mbit/s.


  1. ^ IEEE Std 802-2002, IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Overview and Architecture, page 1, section 1.2: "Key Concepts", "basic technologies"
  2. ^ Kenneth C. Laudan and Jane P. Laudon, Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 10th ed. (2001).