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. The first network was deployed in 1972 in Spain called RETD. Public data network 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, which provided infrastructure for the early Internet.[1][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]


Experimental packet switching networks preceded the first public data networks which came into operation in the 1970s. Early examples include: RETD/Iberpac in Spain, which was the first PDN in 1972;[5][6][7] RCP/Transpac in France; Telenet, Tymnet and CompuServe 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 the first commercial and international packet-switched network. It was a collaboration between British and American telecom companies that became operational in 1978.[8][9][10]

Public switched data network[edit]

A public switched data network (PSDN) is a network for providing data services via a system of multiple wide area networks, similar in concept to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).[11] A PSDN may use a variety of switching technologies, including packet switching, circuit switching, and message switching.[11] A packet-switched PSDN may also be called a packet-switched data network.[12][13]

Originally the term PSDN referred only to Packet Switch Stream (PSS), an X.25-based packet-switched network, mostly used to provide leased-line connections between local area networks and the Internet using permanent virtual circuits (PVCs).[citation needed] Today, the term may refer not only to Frame Relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), both providing PVCs, but also to Internet Protocol (IP), GPRS, and other packet-switching techniques.

Whilst there are several technologies that are superficially similar to the PSDN, such as Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and the digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies, they are not examples of it.[citation needed] ISDN utilizes the PSTN circuit-switched network, and DSL uses point-to-point circuit switching communications overlaid on the PSTN local loop (copper wires), usually utilized for access to a packet-switched broadband IP network.

Public data transmission service[edit]

A public data transmission service is a data transmission service that is established and operated by a telecommunication administration, or a recognized private operating agency, and uses a public data network. A public data transmission service may include Circuit Switched Data packet-switched, and leased line data transmission.

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document: "Federal Standard 1037C".

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ (Schatt 1991, p. 200).
  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. ^ Alarcia, G.; Herrera, S. (1974). "C.T.N.E.'s PACKET SWITCHING NETWORK. ITS APPLICATIONS". Proceedings of 2nd ICCC 74. pp. 163–170.
  7. ^ Lavandera, Luis (1980). "ARCHITECTURE, PROTOCOLS AND PERFORMANCE OF RETD". Conference Record of ICC 80. IEEE. pp. 28.4.1–28.4.5.
  8. ^ 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. S2CID 26876676.
  9. ^ 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. S2CID 23243636.
  10. ^ 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. S2CID 23639680.
  11. ^ a b Bagad (2009). Telecommunication Switching Systems and Networks. Technical Publications. p. 344. ISBN 9788184315905. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  12. ^ Hura and Singal (2001). Data and Computer Communications: Networking and Internetworking. CRC Press. p. 1168. ISBN 9780849309281. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  13. ^ Mazda, Fraidoon (2013). Focal Illustrated Dictionary of Telecommunications. Taylor & Francis. p. 704. ISBN 9781136121029. Retrieved 25 November 2016.

Further reading[edit]

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