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IEEE 802.1Q, often referred to as Dot1q, is the networking standard that supports virtual local area networking (VLANs) on an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames. The standard also contains provisions for a quality-of-service prioritization scheme commonly known as IEEE 802.1p and defines the Generic Attribute Registration Protocol.
Portions of the network which are VLAN-aware (i.e., IEEE 802.1Q conformant) can include VLAN tags. When a frame enters the VLAN-aware portion of the network, a tag is added to represent the VLAN membership. Each frame must be distinguishable as being within exactly one VLAN. A frame in the VLAN-aware portion of the network that does not contain a VLAN tag is assumed to be flowing on the native VLAN.
The standard was developed by IEEE 802.1, a working group of the IEEE 802 standards committee, and continues to be actively revised. One of the notable revisions is 802.1Q-2014 which incorporated IEEE 802.1aq (Shortest Path Bridging) and much of the IEEE 802.1D standard.