A system comprises a system control module and a plurality of interconnected asynchronous transfer mode switches the interconnected asynchronous transfer mode switches are interconnected with one another via at least one physical interface to form a network. The network is used to transfer various types of information. Each asynchronous transfer mode switch has a connection admission control module to determine whether a virtual connection, such a virtual path, virtual channel, or grouping of virtual paths, can be connected through that particular asynchronous transfer mode switch. The virtual connection is formed from one asynchronous transfer mode switch to at least one other asynchronous transfer mode switch via a link of the at least one physical interface. The system control module connects to at least one asynchronous transfer mode switch and determines whether the virtual connection can be created in the network. A process of monitoring a utilization level of a grouping of a virtual path on a physical interface comprises checking the utilization level of the virtual path, updating an amount of available bandwidth for the virtual path, and comparing the amount of available bandwidth with a maximum threshold for the available bandwidth and setting an overload condition if the amount exceeds the maximum threshold and clearing the overload condition if the amount is below the maximum threshold. Service contracts governing a client's use of the network and ability to set up a virtual connection are also be checked in certain circumstances.