TIA's Glossary of Telecommunication Terms

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local area network (LAN)

A data communications system that (a) lies within a limited spatial area, (b) has a specific user group, (c) has a specific topology, and (d) is not a public switched telecommunications network, but may be connected to one. (188) Note 1: LANs are usually restricted to relatively small areas, such as rooms, buildings, ships, and aircraft. Note 2: An interconnection of LANs within a limited geographical area, such as a military base, is commonly referred to as a campus area network. An interconnection of LANs over a city-wide geographical area is commonly called a metropolitan area network (MAN). An interconnection of LANs over large geographical areas, such as nationwide, is commonly called a wide area network (WAN). Note 3: LANs are not subject to public telecommunications regulations.