Coaxial cable and distributed switches provide a way to configure high-speed Fiber Channel fabrics. This type of fabric provides a cost-effective alternative to a fabric of optical fibers and centralized cross-point switches. The fabric topology is a simple tree. Products using parallel busses require a significant change to migrate to a serial bus. Coaxial cables and distributed switches require a smaller technology shift for these device manufacturers. Each distributed switch permits both medium type and speed changes. The fabric can grow and bridge to optical fibers as the needs expand. A distributed fabric permits earlier entry into high-speed serial operations. For very low-cost fabrics, a distributed switch may permit a link configured as a loop. The loop eliminates half of the ports when compared to a switched point-to-point fabric. A fabric of distributed switches can interface to a cross-point switch fabric. The expected sequence of migration is: closed loops, small closed fabrics, and, finally, bridges, to connect optical cross-point switch fabrics. This paper presents the concept of distributed fabrics, including address assignment, frame routing, and general operation.