A network architecture and service platform for providing virtual private network services ("VPN") over an ATM network. The architecture provides services for voice, video, and data traffic among multiple VPN customers over a shared ATM network by implementing intelligent control devices to perform enhanced processing of ATM call setup messages, including validations and routing translations. Hierarchical routing mechanisms provided by ATM, along with customized customer addressing schemes, are used to overlay customer VPNs as higher-level networks onto the shared ATM network. The control devices translate customer ATM VPN address to internal ATM network addresses. The ATM switch network then performs lower-level network processing, using internal network addressing, to setup a virtual connection for a VPN call. The intelligent control devices may also explicitly state the end-to-end route.