A method of opening communications lines, as through the telephone system, by creating a physical link between the initiating and receiving parties. In circuit switching, the connection is made at a switching center, which physically connects the two parties and maintains an open line between them for as long as needed. Circuit switching is typically used on the dial-up telephone network, and it is also used on a smaller scale in privately maintained communications networks. Unlike other methods of transmission, such as packet switching, it requires the link to be established before any communication can take place. Compare message switching, packet switching.
A method of establishing a dedicated communications path between two or more locations through one or more switching nodes. Data is sent in a continuous stream; the data rate is constant; the delay is constant and limited to propagation times; and a dedicated end to end path remains in effect until the communication is terminated.