SONET typically involves dual counter rotating rings that self heal in the event of a fault. SONET provides various line rates up to 9.953 Gigabits per second but generally starts at 155 Mbps. Channels are multiplexed together to achieve these speeds. Frame Relay is typically T-1 or less with variable rates. As SONET is optical fiber it can travel distances that may not be available with Frame Relay without having to touch an RBOC if you own your equipment and fiber rings.
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