The Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), originally in the IEEE 802.1w standard and now part of the IEEE 802.1D-2004 standard, provides an enhanced spanning tree algorithm that improves the convergence speed of bridged networks.
RSTP takes advantage of point-to-point links in the network and actively confirms that a port can safely transition to the forwarding state without relying on any timer configurations. If a network topology change or failure occurs, RSTP rapidly recovers network connectivity by confirming the change locally before propagating that change to other devices across the network. For broadcast links, there is no difference in convergence time between STP and RSTP.
RSTP supersedes legacy STP protocols, supports the existing STP parameters and configurations, and allows for seamless interoperability with legacy STP.