In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model, the Transport layer ensures the reliable arrival of messages and provides error checking mechanisms and data flow controls. The Transport layer provides services for both "connection-mode" transmissions and for "connectionless-mode" transmissions. For connection-mode transmissions, a transmission may be sent or arrive in the form of packets that need to be reconstructed into a complete message at the other end.
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The Transmission Control Protocol portion of TCP/IP is a program that can be mapped to the Transport layer.