A circuit or path between points in a network that appears to be a discrete, physical path but is actually a managed pool of circuit resources from which specific circuits are allocated as needed to meet traffic requirements.

A permanent virtual circuit (PVC) is a virtual circuit that is permanently available to the user just as though it were a dedicated or leased line continuously reserved for that user. A switched virtual circuit (SVC) is a virtual circuit in which a connection session is set up for a user only for the duration of a connection. PVCs are an important feature of frame relay networks and SVCs are proposed for later inclusion.