Packet-Switched Networks

In the mid-1990s, network performance improved to the point where it became possible to send a stream of media information in real time across a network connection. Because the media stream is chopped up into segments, which are then wrapped in an addressing envelope, such connections are referred to as packet-based. The challenge, of course, is to send a flood of these packets between two endpoints, ensuring that the packets arrive in the same order in which they were sent, in less than 150 milliseconds, with none lost. This is the essence of Voice over IP.