With the advent of high speed networking and ATM, there has been a growing interest in introducing these technologies in the working environment of different organizations. In order to effectively manage the abrupt transition to a high speed environment, such networks are being set up as backbone networks. The existing legacy LANs connect to these backbones through various internetworking devices such as bridges and routers. In such a scenario, the performance of the internetworking devices become a critical issue to be addressed in design. In this paper we propose a new approach for bridging called Bridge Registration Protocol (BRP), which is a modification of the transparent bridge approach. The proposal reduces the number of packets that are flooded during the learning phase of the bridge. The BRP approach performs better when the number of networks connected to the bridge is high. Further, when there is heavy traffic between stations which are logically disconnected in an Extended LAN (i.e. a number of LANs connected by repeaters and bridges), BRP outperforms the transparent bridge approach. An address lookup scheme based on B-tree is used to ensure that the address database in the bridge does not slow down the operation of the bridge. © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.