International Networks

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 International Networks  





An international network crosses international borders. International networks are often characterized as no different from a national network—particularly tempting in a world where country boundaries are disappearing every day. Indeed, some countries cooperate in such a way that the environments for the international networks appear quite similar to their neighbor countries (some countries in the European Union, for example, are attempting to create similar telecommunications laws), but in reality, differences, such as variances in the regulatory environment, language, or dominant telecommunications-services suppliers still exist and are sometimes becoming more pronounced because of the varied pace of regulatory change in various countries.

We should define what we mean by a network and an international network. There are several definitions for the word network in the area of electronic communications. For our purposes, a network is a composition of communication devices and links that connect at least two nodes that consist of hardware and software. These connected communications devices and links perform interactions between nodes using exact prescriptions, including protocols [VanHemmen 1997].

In this volume, an international network is defined as a network that operates in at least two different countries, with a management organization (coordinating body) in each of the countries responsible for the management of that part of the network that lies in that country.

A topology of a network shows the locations of nodes and links of a network. Figure 1.1 shows two examples of international networks with different topologies. One of the differences between these two examples is the number of links crossing an international border (international links). The left network has four international links, whereas the right network has only two. The total number of links in these examples is equal. Although designing a network topology is not the subject of this book, knowledge of cost effectiveness of managing international links vs. noninternational links can influence the choice for a topology. Apart from different cost effectiveness, the topologies may also have different performance and reliability characteristics and redundancies, should problems occur such as a broken link caused by a ruptured cable.





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