COMP 3271
Computer Networks

3.0 Credits


The main emphasis of this course is on the organization and management of local area networks (LANs). The course objectives include learning about computer network organization and implementation, obtaining a theoretical understanding of data communication and computer networks, and gaining practical experience in installation, monitoring, and troubleshooting of current LAN systems. The course introduces computer communication network design and its operations. The course includes the following topics: Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communication model; error detection and recovery; local area networks; bridges, routers and gateways; network naming and addressing; and local and remote procedures. On completion of the course, the student should be able in part to design, implement and maintain a typical computer network (LAN).

Delivery Method



Recommended: COMP 2130 Introduction to Computer Systems and COMP 2230 or 2231 Data Structures, Algorithm Analysis, and Program Design or a program or courses of similar content.

Students enrolling this course should be proficient with Java and familiar with Linux and Text Editing software.


At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the general principles of data communication.
  • Describe how computer networks are organized with the concept of layered approach.
  • Describe how signals are used to transfer data between nodes.
  • Implement a simple LAN with hubs, bridges and switches.
  • Describe how packets in the Internet are delivered.
  • Analyze the contents in a given Data Link layer packet, based on the layer concept.
  • Design logical sub-address blocks with a given address block.
  • Decide routing entries given a simple example of network topology
  • Describe what classless addressing scheme is.
  • Describe how routing protocols work.
  • Use C programming language to implement network programs.
  • Design and implement a network protocol.

Course Outline

  • Module 1: Introduction and Network Models
  • Module 2: Data and Signals
  • Module 3: Digital and Analog Transmission
  • Module 4: Bandwidth Utilization and Transmission Media
  • Module 5: Error Detection
  • Module 6: Data Link Control
  • Module 7: Multiple Access and Local Area Networks (LANs)
  • Module 8 Logical Addressing
  • Module 9: Internet Protocol
  • Module 10: Network Layers Protocol
  • Module 11: Address Mapping and Internetworking

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Behrouz A. Forouzan. Data Communications and Networking. 5th edition. McGraw-Hill, 2013.
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-0-07-337622-6 / 0-07-337622-1

Additional Requirements

Students will also require the following computer software and hardware:

  • Microsoft Office or other Office software to view Power Point presentations
  • Linux operating system
  • Text Editor software such as nano or vi
  • Java programming language

If students do not already have these programs downloaded on their personal computer, they are responsible for doing so.

Students will also be introduced to C programming language in the course.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at start of course.


In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the mandatory final exam and 50% overall.

Project Part 1: C Programming Language 5%
Assignment 1: Data and Signals 8%
Project Part 2: Basic TCP/IP Socket Programming 5%
Assignment 2: Computer Networks I 7%
Assignment 3: Computer Networks II 7%
Project Part 3: Simple Data Link Layer 13%
Project Part 4: File Transfer Application 5%
Final Exam * 50%

* Mandatory