Today's 802.11b Networking News is sponsored by IIR's Public Access Wireless LANs
conference, 1-3 October 2002, Lisbon
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Government agency considering asking for changes in 5 GHz band rules: in a transparent move by the executive branch's spectrum policy stalking horse, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is considering asking the FCC for rule changes in the 5 GHz band in which 802.11a operates. The rule changes might restrict use to indoors only and significantly decrease range by limiting power. (A couple of the changes they ask for are already required in Europe, and manufacturers believe they're useful.) The reasons cited are vague, and in an era of increased government secrecy, may remain so.
The 5 GHz band is a rare chunk of open, useful bandwidth, and this trial balloon appears to be a proxy for companies who want to control the final mile. Occam's Razor argues for that, because any governmental agency that might have problems with this use of 5 GHz has had years to realize its impact. Every other potential interferring use in any band gets a remarkable amount of scrutiny and report writing. If 802.11a and other 5 GHz uses were truly a problem, we wouldn't be hearing about it in this form, this late.
HP enters WLAN installation/support business: HP joins IBM Global Services already long-established business of installing wireless LANs with full support. Many companies and venues have sat on the fence, looking at revenue and costs on the other side; HP intends to topple them into the WLAN briar patch, partnering with Cisco, Boingo, and others to offer the full wireless monty with the least amount of effort on the client's part.
Warchalking: this is too cool. Chalk a simple glyph to indicate where wireless bandwidth lies. A nice, harmless meme to spread that will surely catch on. Let's see, I'm carrying my laptop, my external antenna, my Macstumbler software, and my street chalk. Ready to go!