A technique that is the inverse, or opposite, of multiplexing. Traditional multiplexing folds together multiple low-speed channels onto a high-speed circuit. Inverse multiplexing spreads a high-speed channel across multiple low-speed circuits. Inverse multiplexing is used where an appropriately high-speed circuit is not available. A 6-Mbps data stream, for example, might be inverse multiplexed across four (4) T1 circuits, each running at 1.544 Mbps. Inverse multiplexing over ATM (IMA) fans out an ATM cell stream across multiple circuits between the user premises and the edge of the carrier network. In such a circumstance, multiple physical T1 circuits can be used as a single, logical ATM pipe.The IMAcompliant ATM concentrator at the user premises spreads the ATM cells across the T1 circuits in a round robin fashion, and the ATM switch at the edge of the carrier network scans the T1 circuits in the same fashion in order to reconstitute the cell stream.There is a similar implementation agreement (IA) for Frame Relay. Multilink point-to-point protocol (PPP) serves much the same purpose in the Internet domain.