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Re: [802SEC] IEEE-SA CAG considering sponsoring competingstandards to IEEE 802


It seems to me that, with this CAG sponsorship process, the IEEE-SA 
is once again trying to find a way to "monetize" the value in its 
reputation by trading it off for revenue. It sounds to me like this 
process is well-designed to achieve this goal.

Let me see if I understand the process correctly. I'd like to 
hypothesize a situation just slightly different from yours:

*802.X is considering a PAR for a faster PHY. All options on how to 
achieve it are open.
*Company Y goes to the CAG for a PAR to make a faster 802.X PHY, 
specifying Company Y's technology.
*The CAG sends 802 its PAR for review.
*802.X can choose only one of these two options:
  (a) Pass the PAR back to the CAG to create the standard.
  (b) Adopt the PAR, accepting its narrow nature and entity-only balloting.

As as understand what you've said, 802.X has no other options. Do I 
have this right? If so, then I think the CAG sponsorship process 
could very quickly spell the doom of 802. There is going to be a 
strong incentive for companies to play this game.

If I have this right, then I suggest a stronger statement.


At 13:05 +0000 04/02/12, Tony Jeffree wrote:
>Bob -
>I share your concerns.
>I would be happy to second your motion when you are ready to make it.
>At 02:36 12/02/2004, Grow, Bob wrote:
>>Some recent activities on Ethernet have raised concerns again about 
>>the IEEE-SA competing against itself by spawning competing 
>>standards activities through different organizations.  Many of you 
>>will remember when an ISTO affiliated consortium was formed that 
>>IEEE 802.16 perceived as direct but non-interoperable competition 
>>to IEEE 802.16.  This time, an Ethernet related activity has been 
>>discussed as an IEEE-SA Corporate Advisory Group (CAG) sponsored 
>>standards development project.  Please note that at this time, 
>>nothing formal has happened, but initial discussions raise some 
>>more general questions in the prevue of the Executive Committee.
>>As background, I provide my understanding of the relevant parts of 
>>CAG operation from "Operating Procedures for The Corporate Advisory 
>>Group as a Standards Development Sponsor", “Maximizing Your IEEE-SA 
>>Corporate Membership” and discussions with CAG leadership and IEEE 
>>1.	The "CAG is a committee of the IEEE-SA Board of Governors 
>>(BoG), constituted to provide operational and strategic planning 
>>advice on matters affecting the interests of the IEEE-SA corporate 
>>and organizational members."  In some ways, the CAG is similar to 
>>the LMSC EC in that it is a supervisory body representing its 
>>members.  The CAG represents IEEE-SA Corporate Members, only a 
>>subset of which have representatives with seats on the CAG.
>>2.	The CAG has 10 seats with 6 currently filled.  There are 46 
>>entities listed as IEEE-SA Corporate Members on the web site (last 
>>modified September 2003).
>>3.	The CAG can function as a sponsor for IEEE standards projects 
>>(as can other societies within IEEE, like our sponsor the IEEE 
>>Computer Society).
>>4.	Before sponsoring a standards development project, the CAG 
>>must give existing societies 45 days to consider being the sponsor 
>>for the proposed project.  If the sponsor takes on the project, 
>>balloting must be as entities.
>>5.	At least three IEEE-SA Corporate Members must support doing a 
>>standards project, and the CAG must approve a PAR before forwarding 
>>to NesCom if it is to be the sponsor.
>>6.	The CAG is not required to get a supporting vote of the 
>>corporate membership, nor even solicit comment from the corporate 
>>membership about a proposed project.  The support by the requisite 
>>number of entity members is assumed to be sufficient indication of 
>>entity interest.
>>Recent activities in and outside 802.3 will highlight why I feel 
>>current CAG policies are an important issue for the LMSC Executive 
>>Committee to consider.  In general, my concern is that the current 
>>procedures of the CAG can be used to undermine the decision making 
>>authority of established working groups, and destroy industry 
>>respect for and support of IEEE-SA as a standards development 
>>Because the EC’s responsibility is mostly to process, I present the 
>>following as background information so that you can easily envision 
>>similar situations within your working groups.  Hopefully we can 
>>deal with this particular proposal as a case study, and independent 
>>of the technical merits and liabilities of the proposed work, focus 
>>on the more general strategic implications.
>>1.	In July 2003, a proposal was made to the 10GBASE-T study 
>>group for multi-rate operation (2.5, 5 and 10 Gb/s).  This was 
>>discussed on its technical merits as well as within the context of 
>>the Five Criteria.  After three hours of discussion, the SG 
>>declined to include an objective for multi-rate operation.  The 
>>motions to change criteria text to allow multi-rate operation 
>>generated 23% or less support, and the individual votes on each of 
>>the Five Criteria passed by 78% or more.
>>2.	Also in July 2003 at the closing 802.3 plenary meeting, the 
>>proponents brought the issue directly to the floor during the study 
>>group report.  After more than an hour of discussion, and it being 
>>a late hour, no motion was made on objectives for the emerging 
>>P802.3an (10GBASE-T) PAR, and a motion to forward the PAR and 
>>criteria failed Y: 30, N: 16, A: 15.
>>3.	In November, efforts to promote 2.5 Gb/s were separate from 
>>the proposed 10GBASE-T project.  Motions to approve and forward the 
>>10GBASE-T Five Criteria and PAR passed with little or no opposition.
>>4.	Also in November, proponents of 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet held a Call 
>>for Interest.  It was one of three CFIs held in sequence Tuesday 
>>evening.  Attendance was about 175 and seemed fairly consistent for 
>>all of the CFIs.  Two of the CFIs were successful in generating 
>>support for formation of a study group, but the 2.5 Gb/s CFI was 
>>not.  The straw poll question presented at the CFI was:
>>Should IEEE 802.3 form a Study Group to develop a project proposal 
>>for 2.5 Gbps Ethernet?
>>Attendees:        Y: 53, N: 64, A: 39
>>802.3 Voters:     Y: 20, N: 29, A: 21
>>5.   Also in November, the proponents brought essentially the same 
>>question before the 802.3 closing plenary.
>>Motion:  802.3 WG authorizes the formation of 2.5Gbps Study Group
>>Y: 17, N: 31, A: 17  Motion Failed
>>6.   In January 2004, Mr. Nikolich received a request for 
>>cooperation on a 2.5 Gb/s project from the Chair of the IEEE-SA 
>>CAG, initiating discussions among CAG leadership, IEEE 802/802.3 
>>leaders and IEEE Staff.  Mr. Nikolich gave his personal opinion to 
>>the Chair of the CAG that executing this project through 
>>sponsorship by the CAG "was not advisable due to conflict with the 
>>802.3 position", but he also requested more information about the 
>>CAG and corporate IEEE-SA participation before offering any formal 
>>response to the request and requested that 802 and 802.3 leadership 
>>be involved in any discussion by the CAG on this potential project. 
>>To date, that request has been honored.
>>1.	Following this communication, a significant amount of 
>>misinformation began to circulate within the Ethernet community, 
>>including misrepresentations of Mr. Nikolich’s position on the 
>>proposal, the status of the proposal with the CAG, etc.
>>2.	Consequently, a number of email, telephone and conference 
>>calls resulted in IEEE staff arranging a 27 January call with:
>>IEEE 802 – 1st Vice Chair, 802.3 Chair, 802.3 Vice Chair, 10GBASE-T Chair
>>CAG – Chair and Vice Chair
>>IEEE staff
>>President of the IEEE-SA
>>In addition to the above information about CAG operation, the 
>>conference call indicated:
>>a)   The CAG leadership was committed to support this proposed project.
>>b)   A PAR if proposed would only require approval by the CAG to 
>>forward to NesCom. 
>>e)   IEEE 802 participants felt the absence of communication with 
>>the corporate membership about the advisability of sponsoring a 
>>project lessens the value proposition for becoming a corporate 
>>member.  “Why should I recommend my company join IEEE-SA when it 
>>would not be guaranteed any mechanism for disapproving proposed new 
>>f)    It was expected that a 2.5 Gb/s project would be submitted to 
>>NesCom for March consideration.  [Though it is believed that this 
>>will not happen.]
>>g)   The CAG leadership would allow the 45-day period for other 
>>societies to respond to overlap with the NesCom submittal. 
>>The similarities of this to IEEE 802.16’s problems with ISTO are 
>>obvious to those that were involved.  With ISTO, we argued about 
>>whether it was appropriate to call their output IEEE standards or 
>>specifications.  The major difference here is that standard versus 
>>specification isn’t a question with a CAG sponsored project.  A CAG 
>>sponsored project will be an “IEEE Std xxx” document.
>>The ability of the CAG to sponsor projects is a worthwhile activity 
>>for IEEE-SA to support.  Without proper constraint though, it can 
>>be used to undermine the decisions of 802 and other established 
>>working groups.  As an example, most of our groups have lively 
>>discussions about encoding/modulation techniques.  What if one of 
>>our WGs makes a decision and the proponents of a losing proposal 
>>recognize they only need two entity “friends” to go get their own 
>>standard through the CAG.  Consider what this particular case would 
>>mean as a precedent to IEEE Std 802.11, IEEE Std 802.15, IEEE Std 
>>802.16, etc.  What if the losing side on a bridging or security 
>>proposal didn’t like the 802.1 decision.
>>I would like the EC to consider a position statement to the BoG on 
>>additional considerations for CAG sponsored standards projects.  I 
>>believe that a motion should state that:
>>The IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC) is supportive of 
>>Corporate Advisory Group (CAG) standards activities where existing 
>>sponsors are disinterested in a proposed activity.  The LMSC is 
>>strongly opposed to the CAG sponsoring projects where there is 
>>strong interest in the proposed activity.  The LMSC disagrees with 
>>any presumption that rejecting a proposed standards activity is 
>>equivalent to disinterest in the activity.  CAG and IEEE-SA process 
>>must consider an established working group’s position that a 
>>particular standards project is within its area of work and it that 
>>it should not be approved.  The LMSC requests that CAG P&P be 
>>modified to support this method of operation.
>>To have a position ready for the BOG meeting on February 25-27, I 
>>will be making a motion similar to that above this week.  In the 
>>meantime, any wordsmithing suggestions will be appreciated.
>>Thank you for your attention to this lengthy but important message.
>>Bob Grow