Public data network

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A public data network (PDN) is a network established and operated by a telecommunications administration, or a recognized private operating agency, for the specific purpose of providing data transmission services for the public. It was the common name given to the international collection of X.25 providers whose combined network had large global coverage during the 1980s and into the 1990s,[1] which later provided infrastructure for the internet.[2]


In communications, a PDN is a circuit- or packet-switched network that is available to the public and that can transmit data in digital form. A PDN provider is a company that provides access to a PDN and that provides any of X.25, frame relay, or cell relay (ATM) services.[3] Access to a PDN generally includes a guaranteed bandwidth, known as the committed information rate (CIR). Costs for the access depend on the guaranteed rate. PDN providers differ in how they charge for temporary increases in required bandwidth (known as surges). Some use the amount of overrun; others use the surge duration.[4]


Early examples include the following experimental/public networks: RETD/Iberpac in Spain; RCP/Transpac in France; Tymnet and Telenet in the United States; EPSS/Packet Switch Stream, in the United Kingdom; EIN/Euronet in the EEC; DATAPAC in Canada; and AUSTPAC in Australia. The International Packet Switched Service was a collaboration between US and UK telecom companies.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Schatt 1991, p. 200).
  2. ^ Council, National Research; Sciences, Division on Engineering and Physical; Board, Computer Science and Telecommunications; Applications, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and; Committee, NII 2000 Steering (1998-02-05). The Unpredictable Certainty: White Papers. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-17414-5.
  3. ^ (Schatt 1991, p. 207).
  4. ^ Stokes, A. V. (2014-05-23). Communications Standards: State of the Art Report 14:3. Elsevier. ISBN 978-1-4831-6093-1.
  5. ^ Roberts, L.G. (1978). "The evolution of packet switching". Proceedings of the IEEE. 66 (11): 1307–1313. doi:10.1109/PROC.1978.11141. ISSN 1558-2256.
  6. ^ Rybczynski, Tony (2009). "Commercialization of packet switching (1975-1985): A Canadian perspective [History of Communications]". IEEE Communications Magazine. 47 (12): 26–31. doi:10.1109/MCOM.2009.5350364. ISSN 1558-1896.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Mischa (2010). "X.25 Virtual Circuits - TRANSPAC IN France - Pre-Internet Data Networking [History of communications]". IEEE Communications Magazine. 48 (11): 40–46. doi:10.1109/MCOM.2010.5621965. ISSN 1558-1896.

Further reading[edit]

  • Schatt, Stan (1991). Linking LANs: A Micro Manager's Guide. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-8306-3755-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)