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The TCP protocol incorporates flow control mechanisms to attempt the best utilization of network bandwidth. The most common mechanism in use is documented by RFC 2581 and is sometimes called TCP Reno. Most TCP implementations severely penalize a connection's throughput in case of packet loss, and regain that throughput as stable packet transmission occurs. This represents a particular problem for high-latency, high-bandwidth networks (so-called "Long fat pipes"), which are increasingly common. Because of the high bandwidth of such networks, a severe cut in connection throughput represents a substantial loss of throughput, even for reasonably small rates of packet loss.
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