A specialized microcomputer network is developed to meet the real-time processing requirements of a digitally protected substation. This application has strict timing constraints and requires a fast communication response. The network is based on the principle that direct access to channel is granted exclusively to the ready message with the current highest priority. -- The network requirements of the digitally protected substation are defined. The data flow of the substation resembles the message priority in nature. To implement the message priority scheme, a totally distributed network is employed. -- A simulation model is developed to predict the performance of the network. Results from the simulation indicate that the network is capable of meeting the timing constraints of the real-time application.