A fast authentication and access control method of authenticating a network access device to a communications network having an access point communicating with a remote authentication (home AAA) server for the network access device. The method includes the step of receiving an access request having an authentication credential from the network access device at the access point. The authentication credential includes a security certificate having a public key for the network access device and an expiration time. The security certificate is signed with a private key for the remote authentication server. The access point locally validates the authentication credential by accessing the public key of the remote authentication server from a local database, and checking the signature and expiration time of the security certificate. If the authentication credential is validated at the access point, the access point grants the network access device conditional access to the network by sending an access granted message to the network access device. The access granted message includes a session key encrypted with a public key for the network access device. The session key is stored in a database associated with the access point. The access point contacts the remote authentication server to check a revocation status of the security certificate for the network access device. If the access point receives a message from the remote authentication server that the authentication credential for the network access device has been revoked, it suspends network access for the network access device.