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IP-networks are structured in a similar way. The whole Internet consists of a number of proper networks, called autonomous systems. Each such system performs any routing between its member hosts internally, so that the task of delivering a datagram is reduced to finding a path to the destination host's network. This means, as soon as the datagram is handed to any host that is on that particular network, further processing is done exclusively by the network itself.
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996