A fiber optic switch interconnects fiber optic channels so that a fiber optic network can be implemented. Channel modules provide ports (p1-pi) for connection of the fiber optic channels. Each channel module has a receive memory for temporarily storing incoming data frames from the fiber optic channels associated therewith. A switch module having a data distribution network interconnects each of the channel modules and permits ultimate connection of a source channel to a destination channel. A path allocation system, which controls the switch module, allocates the data paths between the channels. The path allocation system has a scheduler which maintains a destination queue (Q.sub.p1 -Q.sub.pi) for each of the channels, a sentry which determines when a new data frame is ready to be routed, and an arbitrator which arbitrates port availability and which grants transfer requests proposed by the scheduler.