A packet communications network includes a route testing system which launches a plurality of route testing messages from the source node to each of the nodes along the route, including the destination node, and returning to the source node. Time stamps in each of theses testing messages are compared to reception times to determine round trip delays which can be halved and compared to determine link transit times. These link transit times can, in turn, be analyzed to localize congestion or identify failed resources. The source resource is where the data is accumulated for the entire path and then analyzed to determine the location of failed links, if any, the response time from the source to the destination, the response time of each resource in the path, and the location of congested links. Packet switched resources identify the path test command themselves and carry out the testing procedure. Circuit switched resources utilize the control point controlling that resource to carry out the testing procedure.
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