An optical backbone network based on WDM (or OTDM) technology may become an economical choice for providing future broadband services. To achieve a balance between the coarse-grain optical circuit switching (via wavelength routing) and fine- grain optical packet/cell switching, optical burst switching is proposed. We study a one-way reservation protocol called just-enough-time (JET), which is suitable for switching bursty traffic in a high speed optical backbone network. The JET protocol has two unique, integrated features, namely, the use of delayed reservation (DR) and buffered burst multiplexers (BBM). By virtue of DR, the JET protocol not only increases the bandwidth utilization, but also facilitates intelligent buffer management in BBMs, and consequently results in a high through-put. Both analysis and simulation results show that the JET protocol can significantly outperform other one-way reservation protocols lacking one or both of these features.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.