Using the CSMA/CD protocol, the devices will detect that a collision has occurred (collision detection) and each of the devices that transmitted at the same time will wait a random amount of time and then retransmit. The likelihood of one or more devices randomly selecting the same delay is almost zero, so the retransmission is likely to be successful. Higher network traffic, larger numbers of computers on a network segment, and longer cables all contribute to an increased number of collisions, which in turn lowers the efficiency of the network because even more traffic is generated by larger number of retransmissions. A collision domain is a segment of cable on which two stations can't transmit at the same time without causing a collision. For example, all computers attached to the same hub in a star topology network, or all the computers on the same bus (linear segment) in a bus topology network, comprise a single collision domain. By using a switch, you can create separate collision domains and reduce network traffic.

With CSMA/CD, unlike with some access control protocols (such as demand priority) all stations or nodes are equal in their ability to send data when there is an opening; no station gets higher priority than any other.

A number of IEEE working groups continue to develop new standards for CSMA/CD, such as those pertaining to gigabit Ethernet and Ethernet over fiber (100BaseFX).

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