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stds-802-16: IEEE Spectrum article: Sept. 1999, p. 61

[Notice: It is the policy of 802.16 to treat messages posted here as non-confidential.]

To:   Forum, _IEEE Spectrum_
From: Roger Marks
      Chair, IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access
Re:   "Fixed wireless routes for Internet access" (Spectrum, Sept. 99, p. 61)

I applaud _IEEE Spectrum_ for its coverage of "Fixed wireless routes for Internet access" [September, pp. 61-69]. I expect fixed wireless technology to indeed play a crucial role in making broadband access widely available.

Surprisingly, the article overlooked the major role that IEEE itself is playing in the development of this industry. The mission of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access is "to develop standards and recommended practices to support the development and deployment of fixed broadband wireless access systems." This transnational group has 106 Voting Members and has met eight times since August 1998 (including several startup meetings organized by the National Wireless Electronic Systems Testbed of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology). 802.16 recently unveiled an aggressive timetable to provide a draft interoperable air interface specification by next autumn. A separate project aims to provide a Recommended Practice for system coexistence, without interference, by the summer of 2000. I encourage you to read more at http://nwest.nist.gov.

Standards are vital to the success of communications systems. Through its outstandingly successful LAN/MAN Standards Committee (Project 802), IEEE has set the stage for tremendous technological innovation and rapid deployment of digital networks. IEEE 802.16, an 802 Working Group, is building on those successes as it pioneers standards on which to build a broadband wireless access industry.