Originally, the Institute Of Electrical And Electronic Engineers (IEEE) took a sub-section of the work done by the committee formed by the Industry Standards Organization (ISO) known as the Open Standards Interconnect (OSI).
The whole point of OSI was to give some organization to networking among different manufacturers. While the OSI committee did great work, the IEEE felt some vagueness in the famous 7-layer OSI model. So, they took the second layer (Data Link) and created committees to further refine this layer.
The first results were released in February 1980. Since February is the second (2) month of the year, their work became known as 802.
Different groups took on different definitions and each group took a number. So we have things like 802.2 that tightly define Logical Link Control (LLC). Another committee defined 802.3, Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection. (CSMA/CD).
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