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DLCI (data link connection identifier)

A 10-bit address (with 1,024 different combinations) that identifies a particular permanent virtual circuit.

In most frame relay networks, each end of a connection assigns its own DLCIs from a pool of locally unused numbers - a scheme called "local addressing" or "locally significant DLCIs." The service provider's frame relay network then maps one DLCI to the other using a look-up table.

Locally significant DLCIs have become the primary method of addressing because the same address can be used in several different locations while still referring to different connections. Thus, local addressing prevents a customer from running out of DLCIs as the network grows.

Additional resources

How does DLCI addressing work?
Network World on Frame Relay, 05/08/00.

Global DLCI addressing
Network World on Frame Relay, 05/10/00.

DLCI assignments and mapping
Network World on Frame Relay, 05/31/01.

More on DLCIs
Network World on Frame Relay, 06/13/01.

Topic: Frame Relay
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