• Directory of Internet terms
  • Differentiated services — At present, all packets on the Internet are treated alike, regardless of their importance. If you want an important message to be delivered immediately or a streaming video signal to be distributed smoothly and without interruptions, there is no way to differentiate between immediate needs and routine transmissions which could be delayed for a long time without any problems. There are currently efforts under way to test and develop standards for differentiated services, where high priority data can be sent through or around clogged nodes ahead of low priority data. The high priority data transmission will cost more, of course. See ATM.