Image Number 3 for United States Patent #6487183.
A method for implementing an activity based resource assignment medium access control (MAC) protocol to allocate resources to subscribers in an interactive, multimedia, broadband satellite communications system. A plurality of channels is provided with at least one of said plurality of channels being assigned to each of a plurality of terminals. Utilization of the channel resources by the plurality of terminals is monitored and an evaluation is conducted of system needs based on the levels of activity and utilization of channel resources by the terminals. Requests for system resources by the terminals are communicated to a resource controller which calculates the system needs. The resource controller is utilized to adjust the channel resources based on the levels of activity and utilization of resources by the terminals. The adjustment provides active terminals as much resources as required during duration of their activity, subject to resource availability.