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stds-802-16: failure of P802.16a vote at 802 ExCom; where we go next


Our request to send P802.16a/D3 to Sponsor Ballot has been denied by 
the 802 SEC. (This hasn't been formally announced, but mine was the 
only vote in favor).

Coexistence with 802.11 was one issue we will have to address. 
However, the more prominent concern, I would say, was the immaturity 
of the draft and our failure to directly address the negative 
comments. The 802 Vice Chair said 
<>: "I say that you shouldn't 
go to Sponsor Ballot with a document that you aren't willing to stand 
behind being published as a Standard." I take this advice seriously, 
and I don't intend to go back to the SEC otherwise.

At the moment, TGa has no item of business on the table. We passed a 
motion to forward D3 for Sponsor Ballot, and we forwarded it for 
Sponsor Ballot. To take further action, we need a new motion.

I think that we need to make the most out of this failure and even 
use it to our advantage. What it offers us is an opportunity - the 
chance to revisit the situation and try to build a more sound draft. 
We need to face the fact that D3 is less of a consensus than a 
collection of some isolated ideas. We can defend this and argue that 
it can work in the marketplace. But the place where it is NOT working 
is inside the Working Group. We have seen an unfortunate tendency 
toward factionalization and for factions to stand in the way of 
progress by other factions. The nature of the Working Group, with all 
of us voting on everything, simply does not support a factionalized 
draft; it makes progress too slow and painful.

After consultation with some key Working Group members, here is what 
I am proposing:

*We initiate a Working Group Letter Ballot (#5) that would authorize 
the Working Group Plenary at Session #19 (even in the absence of a 
formal quorum) to launch a new WG Letter Ballot (#6), based on a 
draft of its choosing. Letter Ballot #6 would be a motion to send the 
new draft to the SEC for Sponsor Ballot. The 35-day ballot would be 
complete before Session #20 in July, where we could resolve comments. 
The group will not be bound to D3 but will be free to assemble a new 
draft, by 75% majority.

*We issue a Call for Contributions requesting innovative ideas on how 
to merge, consolidate, unify, integrate, harmonize, or rationalize 
the various modes in D3 (and possibly the WirelessMAN-SC mode in IEEE 
Standard 802.16).

*We spend the next six weeks (including the week of Session #19) 
focussed solely on the goal of how to bring the modes (and the 
factions supporting them) together.

This proposal may seem a little scary. Basically, everyone will be on 
the line here. No faction has the clout to write their own ticket. If 
you want to be represented in the draft, you will need a proposal 
that accommodates not only your needs but also those of others. We 
aren't looking for a force-fit but for a technically-sound solution, 
particularly one that takes best advantage of the best features of 
each mode. We have heard ideas for such plans before, and I am sure 
that there are many other possibilities out there if we are creative. 
The key is to get people interested in the problem and willing to 
work with others outside their clique. What I'm not looking for is a 
floor fight. I want us to arrive at the meeting with one, or a few, 
plans that have been worked out in advance to appeal to a broad 
coalition. Everyone I've discussed this with has been supportive of 
the idea and seems optimistic about our ability to achieve some level 
of harmonization.

I plan to put WG Letter Ballot #5 on the floor by Monday. I expect to 
have a Call for Contributions out the same day. I encourage a lively 
discussion of this plan, and of ideas for harmonization, either here 
at stds-802-16 or among your own colleagues.

I think we have the opportunity to achieve something better here.