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Early networking

The first high speed digital network platform was the Cambridge Fast Ring, a 50Mbit/second local area network designed and implemented in the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory in the mid 1980's. The CFR uses a slotted ring structure, a development of the earlier Cambridge Ring, and is an early example of an ATM network.

Several rings were connected with a Metrobridge, which also provided a gateway to ethernet. These networks formed the communication infrastructure for a series of experiments in digital video for workstations, culminating in a distributed networked multimedia system called Pandora.

Cambridge Fast Rings were deployed in a number of organisations around Cambridge, including the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory and Cambridge University Engineering Department These rings were connected by The Cambridge Backbone Ring, a 500Mbit/second metropolitan area network which was the result of a collaborative project with the Computer Laboratory. Experiments with real-time networked multimedia on a large scale were made possible by this connectivity. Both the CFR and the CBR were decommissioned in 1994, having been replaced with switched ATM networks.

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