Abstract This paper studies the feasibility of minimizing convergence delay and forwarding disruption without carrying any additional bits in the IP header, to provide high availability despite link failures in traditional IP networks. Previously proposed mechanisms achieve two of these three objectives by trading off the other objective. For instance, the ordered FIB updates approach may prolong the convergence delay, whereas the SafeGuard scheme requires carrying the path cost in the IP header. As a better alternative, we propose a scheme called fast convergence with fast reroute (FCFR), which combines the features of not-via addressing and interface-specific forwarding. We show that FCFR can achieve minimal convergence delay, while ensuring loop-free delivery during convergence, after a single non-partitioning failure in an IP network, without altering the IP header format, making it amenable for immediate deployment.