The paper is a survey of networking solutions that have been proposed for high-speed packet-switched applications. Using these solutions as examples, we identify the specific problems resulting from very high transmission rates and explain how these problems influence the design of high-speed networks and protocols. We conclude that the solutions based on deflection routing are the most promising ones and we suggest a number of directions for their evolution. 1 Introduction Not so long ago, computer networks with high transmission rates (e.g. several Mb/s) were naturally confined to local domains. Although such (and higher) transmission rates were available in telephony on long distances, they were used on a point-to-point basis. Concepts of highly-connected fast networks spanning geographical areas larger than the acreage typically covered by a single institution are relatively new and, besides the emerging atm technology, there are no standard commercially available solutions that c..