Patent Number: 7,046,666

Title: Method and apparatus for communicating between divergent networks using media access control communications

Abstract: A method for communicating across divergent network segments in a network. The network has a first network segment and a second network segment. The first network segment includes a switch that is controlled by a module that has instructions encoding a method. In the method, an ARP request packet is received from a first device. The ARP request packet includes a request to locate a second device. The first device is coupled to the first network segment and the second device is coupled to the second network segment. The ARP request packet is broadcast to the network segments outside of the first network segment and, as a result, a reply from the second network segment is received. The reply is transmitted to the first device, such that in use, ARP tables are modified on the first device and the second device so that future communication between said first device and said second device is enabled using a layer two communication protocol without any requirement for a layer three communication protocol.

Inventors: Bollay; Benn (San Francisco, CA), Donahue; David B. (Mountain View, CA), Kolli; Vinai (Fremont, CA), Obenhuber; Thomas (San Francisco, CA)

Assignee: The DirecTV Group, Inc.

International Classification: H04L 12/28 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/16/02018