A performance analysis of the IEEE 802.6 subnetwork of a metropolitan area network is presented. The effect of the bandwidth balancing mechanism and of various other network parameters on the delay characteristics of the subnetwork are investigated via an extensive simulation study. We show that the position dependent characteristics of the network cannot totally be eliminated by the bandwidth balancing mechanism. The latter is due to the association of the medium access mechanism of the network to the greedy protocol. We also show that although the position dependent characteristics become more evident as the size of the network increases, they are not severe provided that the network does not operate very close to its capacity or it does not extend for very large distances (depending on the network bandwidth). © 1992.