The goal of this specification is to allow compatible and interoperable implementations for transmitting IP datagrams and ARP requests and replies. To achieve this it may be necessary in a few cases to limit the use that IP and ARP make of the capabilities of a particular IEEE 802 standard.
The IEEE 802 specifications define a family of standards for Local Area Networks (LANs) that deal with the Physical and Data Link Layers as defined by the ISO Open System Interconnection Reference Model (ISO/OSI). Several Physical Layer standards (802.3, 802.4, and 802.5) [3,4,5] and one Data Link Layer Standard (802.2)  have been defined. The IEEE Physical Layer standards specify the ISO/OSI Physical Layer and the Media Access Control Sublayer of the ISO/OSI Data Link Layer. The 802.2 Data Link Layer standard specifies the Logical Link Control Sublayer of the ISO/OSI Data Link Layer.
This memo describes the use of IP and ARP on the three types of networks. At this time, it is not necessary that the use of IP and ARP be consistent across all three types of networks, only that it be consistent within each type. This may change in the future as new IEEE 802 standards are defined and the existing standards are revised allowing for interoperability at the Data Link Layer.
It is the goal of this memo to specify enough about the use of IP and ARP on each type of network to ensure that:
Of course, the goal of IP is interoperability between computers attached to different networks, when those networks are interconnected via an IP gateway . The use of IEEE 802.1 compatible Transparent Bridges to allow interoperability across different networks is not fully described pending completion of that standard.