A method and apparatus for removing a virtual connection between first and second devices in a communication system that includes at least one switch virtually connecting the first and second devices. An error in the virtual connection can be detected in at least one of the first and second devices and the at least one switch, with the detector transmitting a request to remove the virtual connection. The virtual connection then is removed from the communication system in response to the transmission of the request. The request to remove the virtual circuit may be in the form of an information frame transmitted over the virtual connection, with each system component being removed from the virtual circuit upon its processing of the information frame. Additionally, a method and apparatus for operating the virtual connection between the first and second devices. The virtual connection includes a live state in which information frames are transmitted between the first and second devices over the virtual connection at a minimum guaranteed bandwidth. The virtual connection further includes a dormant state wherein information frames are not transmitted over the virtual connection and the bandwidth guaranteed to the connection is made available to other connections in the system.