The use of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to provide multichannel access to a common single optical fibre transmission medium within a local area network (LAN) is discussed. A star-based WDM optical fibre LAN topology is described prior to consideration of possible access strategies which may be employed within such a multichannel network. A multichannel carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) access protocol originally conceived for application with broadband coaxial LANs is outlined. Consideration is then given to two novel multichannel token passing access strategies(called the reservation channel and piggyback protocols respectively) which have been specifically designed for application within WDM optical fibre LANs. Computer simulated performance characteristics for the aforementioned multichannel protocols are presented and compared, both with each other and with their respective single-channel approaches employing the same overall network transmission rate. The performance comparison demonstrates not only the distinct benefit of multichannel access in terms of network traffic throughput but also the superiority in terms of network traffic throughput of both the multichannel token passing access strategies over multichannel CSMA/CD when the individual channel bit rates exceed 10 Mbit/s for a WDM optical fibre star LAN with a 2 km diameter.