Telecommunications networking protocol introduced by Xerox Corp. in 1979. It was developed as an inexpensive way of sending information quickly between office machines connected together in a single room or building, but it rapidly became a standard computer interconnection method. The original data rate of 10 megabits per second has been increased to 100 megabits per second for a new standard known as fast ethernet. The original specification required coaxial cable as the communications medium, but costs have been reduced through the employment of simple paired wires. See also computer network.