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Computer Networks, Fourth Edition by Andrew S. Tanenbaum

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Chapter 4. The Medium Access Control Sublayer

As we pointed out in Chap. 1, networks can be divided into two categories: those using point-to-point connections and those using broadcast channels. This chapter deals with broadcast networks and their protocols.

In any broadcast network, the key issue is how to determine who gets to use the channel when there is competition for it. To make this point clearer, consider a conference call in which six people, on six different telephones, are all connected so that each one can hear and talk to all the others. It is very likely that when one of them stops speaking, two or more will start talking at once, leading to chaos. In a face-to-face meeting, chaos is avoided by external means, for example, at a ...

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