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A cross-layer modification to the DSR protocol is presented in this work which is intended to enhance the global throughput performance of wireless mesh networks. This modification involves the use of an access efficiency factor (which is a measure of the local availability of bandwidth at a node) as an alternative metric to the hop-count metric in order to allow for improved routing selection. The key feature of this modified route selection procedure is that it attempts to discover paths that have a large availability of bandwidth which can support high throughputs. In this work we have employed the OPNET modeler simulator to investigate the performance of the modified DSR protocol on a series of randomly generated network topologies of different node densities. The simulator was run twice for each network topology. The first run implemented the standard DSR algorithm while the second implemented the modified DSR protocol. The average throughput was recorded for each run and the percentage improvement for the particular topology was calculated. Our results demonstrate that a significant enhancement in the global throughput of the networks can be achieved by implementing our modified DSR protocol.