A telecommunications network is provided. The network uses a ring of ring switches to provide a transport mechanism for data packets that is transparent to the data and protocols contained in the data packets. This transport mechanism is simple and low cost to implement. Such networks can carry, for example, video signals between a primary site and secondary sites of a cable network to provide video on demand, near video on demand, distance learning and other video based services. Such networks can also provide telephony service as voice over IP.

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