Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IEEE: No Comments, Please!

The IEEE 802.11N Task Group won't likely have a final wireless standard until 2008, in part because the group is obligated to respond to comments on the draft standard--all 10,000 of them. That's a record-setting number of comments for an 802.11 standard. About half have already been dealt with, mostly the easy ones.

The extraordinary number of comments can be explained by three factors. First, 11n is based on extremely complex technology, which leaves plenty of room for legitimate technical disagreement.

Second, 802.11 is now important to almost everyone, including component providers, network and system manufacturers, and consumer product companies. It's not like the early days, when a relatively small cadre of engineers dominated the 802.11 committee.

Finally, some companies, bitter that the current draft was crafted in secret by a loose consortium of industry players, are using the comment procedures to stall the process, objecting not only to technical choices but even to the number of spaces between paragraphs. Stalling is a time-honored tradition--the original 802.11 standard took seven years to complete--but this is over the top. --Dave Molta, [email protected]