In a communication system capable of variable rate transmission, scheduling of high speed data transmission improves utilization of the reverse link and decreases the transmission delay in data communication. Each remote station is assigned a maximum unscheduled transmission rate for the duration of the communication with a cell. A maximum scheduled transmission rate can be assigned by a channel scheduler for scheduled transmission of data traffic at high rates. The maximum scheduled transmission rate is assigned in accordance with a set of system goals, a list of system constraints, and collected information on the status of the communication network. Data is partitioned in data frames and transmitted over the reverse link at or below the maximum scheduled transmission rate which have been assigned to the scheduled user.