Access methods are the methods by which data is sent onto the network. The most common access methods are CSMA/CD, which uses a collision detection and contention method, CSMA/CA, and token passing.
The IEEE defines several LAN standards, including 802.2 (the LLC layer), 802.3 (ethernet), 802.5 (token ring), and 802.11 (wireless). Each of these standards identifies specific characteristics, including the network's media, speed, access method, and topology.
This chapter focused on the 802.3 ethernet networking standards. Several sub-standards fall under the 802.3 banner specifying different characteristics for network deployment. Each of the 802.3 standards use the CSMA/CD access method. Of the ethernet standards, the 802.3ae and 802.3an offer the greatest speeds. 802.3ae is the standard specifying 10-gigabit speeds over fiber cable, whereas 802.3an offers 10-gigabit speeds over copper cabling.