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Development of efficient medium access control (MAC) protocols is a fundamental research issue in high-speed wireless local area networks (LANs). We focus on the throughput efficiency of medium access algorithms for high-speed wireless LANs which use carrier sense multiple access/collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). We propose an efficient distributed contention-based MAC protocol for wireless local area networks, namely, the fast collision resolution (FCR) algorithm, and show that the proposed FCR algorithm provides high throughput and low latency in wireless LANs. The performance of FCR algorithm is compared with that of the IEEE 802.11 MAC algorithm via extensive simulation studies. The results show that FCR algorithm achieves a significantly higher efficiency than the IEEE 802.11 MAC algorithm and is easy to implement in wireless LANs.