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Contention occurs on shared-media networks in which multiple workstations vie to have access to the medium. Contention is part of CSMA (carrier sense multiple access) networks (i.e., Ethernet). Contention occurs when two or more devices attempt to use the channel at the same time. When contention does occur, the devices wait for a random amount of time, then attempt access again. If many devices are competing for the cable, the situation becomes worse because the wait time reduces performance-in addition to the need for workstations to continually attempt to access the cable.

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