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Dedicated line

In computer networks and telecommunications, a dedicated line is a general term describing a communications cable dedicated to a specific application, in comparison with the use of a shared resource such as the telephone network or the Internet.

In practice, such services may not be provided by a single, discrete, end-to-end cable, but they do provide guarantees of constant bandwidth availability and near-constant latency, properties that cannot be guaranteed for more public systems. Such properties add a considerable premium to the price charged.

As more general-purpose systems have improved, dedicated lines have been steadily been replaced by intranets and the public Internet, but they are still useful for time-critical, high-bandwidth applications such as video transmission.

See also : ATM, Frame relay, T-carrier