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from the Plum Voice IVR Glossary
In network communications, packet switching is the process of routing and transferring data through preaddressed packets. Data is resized into packets that are suitably sized blocks that uniformly allow for easy transfer over a shared network. The data packets occupy a channel during the transmission of a packet, and only after the transmission is complete is that channel made available for the transfer of other traffic. Packets are compressed, buffered, and queued based on their size and the time they are sent. They are then sent out, travel through various network adapters, and go through to another person’s computer promptly depending on the traffic load of the network. Packet switching was designed to optimize the use of channel capacity that was available in transmission networks, and the most popular example of packet switching is the functionality of the Internet.
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