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BAP (Bandwidth Allocation Protocol) and BACP (Bandwidth Allocation Control Protocol)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

BACP is an Internet protocol that helps users manage a combination of dial-up links, usually over ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connections. The protocol is defined in RFC 2125 (The PPP Bandwidth Allocation Protocol [BAP] and The PPP Bandwidth Allocation Control Protocol [BAPC], March 1997).

BACP provides what is called dial on demand (or bandwidth on demand), a technique for providing additional bandwidth as needed by combining two or more circuits into a single circuit with a higher data throughput rate. The technique is useful for accommodating bursts in traffic, videoconferencing, backup sessions, and other requirements.

Basic rate ISDN consists of two digital circuits for home or business use. The circuits can be used for two separate phone calls, a phone call and a computer connection, or two separate computer connections. Each circuit provides a data rate of 64 Kbits/sec. In addition, the circuits can be combined into a single 128-Kbit/sec channel. You use dial on demand to automatically combine channels when data traffic increases beyond the capacity of a single channel. One advantage of dialing on demand with ISDN is that calls are usually charged on a per-call basis. When the demand falls back, the second line is automatically disconnected to save phone charges.

BACP adds features to the IETF's MLPPP (Multilink PPP). BACP extends Multilink PPP by providing a way for different vendors' equipment to negotiate for additional bandwidth. Routers exchange BACP messages to negotiate link requirements for providing extra bandwidth or to take lines down when extra bandwidth is no longer needed.

Refer to RFC 2125 for more information, or the Network Computing article listed in the following, which put BAC/BACP into context with MLPPP.

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