The invention relates to scheduling packets from numerous traffic classes that share a common high speed channel. A method and an apparatus for regulating several thousand traffic classes sharing a very high speed common channel of a capacity of the order of 80 Gb/s are described. The packets are generally of variable size, and each channel is assigned a transfer rate less than or equal to the capacity of shared channel, with the sum of transfer rates of all classes not exceeding the capacity of the shared channel. The rare allocation for each class is determined either by operator specification or, preferably, by automated means based on traffic monitoring. In the latter case, the transfer rate allocated to a class may be dynamically updated.
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