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Severe unfairness and even complete starvation may occur when using TCP-like congestion control in IEEE 802.11-based Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs). Indeed, IEEE 802.11 is inherently unfair; however, economies of scale make it the commonly used MAC protocol in WMNs. Moreover, TCP-like protocols do not account for links interdependency within a neighborhood. In WMNs, congestion should be mutually handled using explicit coordination among neighboring contending links. Furthermore, the set of flows that should be regulated, to control congestion, must include all those traversing a congested neighborhood. However, neighborhood coordination and flows notification significantly consume the already scarce bandwidth. In this paper, we propose NICC as neighborhood-based and overhead-free congestion control protocol aiming to avoid starvation without disturbing the bandwidth resources. Instead of experiencing IEEE 802.11 as a handicap, NICC proposes a lightweight optimization of some underexploited fields in the 802.11 frames header so as to provide implicit multi-bit congestion feedback. Such feedback ensures accurate rate control without inducing additional overhead. The effectiveness of NICC in terms of starvation avoidance and bandwidth efficiency is proved through in-depth simulation.