Fast Ethernet Definition

Fast Ethernet is another name for the 100Base-T Ethernet wiring standard for LANs (local area networks).

Ethernet is by far the most commonly used LAN architecture as a result of its high speeds, robustness (i.e., high reliability), low cost and adaptability to new technologies. 100Base-T supports data transfer rates of up to 100Mbps (100 megabits per second) over unshielded twisted pair copper wire cable or optical fiber cable.

100Base-T is often referred to as fast Ethernet because it allows a maximum data transfer rate ten times greater than its predecessor, 10Base-T, which supports transfer rates of 10Mbps. Its official name is IEEE 802.3u.

The term fast Ethernet has become somewhat dated because of the subsequent development of even faster standards, i.e., gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE).

Created November 14, 2005.
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