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Committed Information Rate

Definition of Committed Information Rate

Committed Information Rate (CIR) is a term frequently used in the realm of digital communications, particularly concerning data bandwidth. It refers to the average bandwidth for a network circuit or a virtual circuit guaranteed by an Internet service provider (ISP) or network provider. This rate is a part of a service agreement, ensuring that a minimum level of bandwidth is always available to the customer.

Origin of Committed Information Rate

The concept of CIR emerged as a response to the dynamic and fluctuating demands of data transmission across networks. It originated within the context of Frame Relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technologies, which were designed to accommodate varying levels of network traffic. CIR became a pivotal aspect in managing these fluctuations, ensuring a baseline performance regardless of network congestion.

Practical Application of Committed Information Rate

One practical application of CIR is in the provision of consistent service quality for business communications. For instance, companies relying on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services benefit significantly from a guaranteed CIR. This assurance means that even during peak network usage, the quality of voice communication remains stable, free from disruptions that could be caused by insufficient bandwidth.

Benefits of Committed Information Rate

The primary benefit of CIR is the assurance of stable and reliable internet performance. For businesses, this reliability translates into uninterrupted services, improved customer satisfaction, and operational consistency. In environments where data transfer rates are critical, such as in financial services or telemedicine, CIR provides the necessary infrastructure for smooth and efficient operations.


If usage exceeds the CIR, the excess data is either transmitted at a lower priority or may incur additional charges, depending on the service provider's policy.

While CIR is primarily significant for business users requiring consistent bandwidth, some high-end residential services may also offer a form of CIR for improved service quality.

Bandwidth refers to the maximum rate of data transfer, whereas CIR is the guaranteed minimum bandwidth available to a user under a service agreement.


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