An explicit rate marking system is disclosed for use in connection with a switching node to generate an explicit rate value for use in a resource management cell associated with a virtual circuit in an ATM network. The explicit rate marking system comprises a virtual bandwidth value generator module and an explicit rate value generator module. The virtual bandwidth value generator module generate a virtual bandwidth value reflecting an available bandwidth capacity value, an explicit rate value associated with each bottlenecked virtual circuit for which the switching node forms part of a path, and a minimum cell rate value associated with each unbottlenecked virtual circuit for which the switching node forms part of a path. The explicit rate value generator module generates the explicit rate value in relation to the virtual bandwidth value and the minimum cell rate value associated with the virtual circuit and other virtual circuits for which the switching node forms part of a path.
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