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RE: [802SEC] IEEE-SA CAG considering sponsoring competing standards to IEEE 802

If Roger's assessment is correct, I share his concerns.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger B. Marks [] 
> Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 6:53 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] IEEE-SA CAG considering sponsoring 
> competing standards to IEEE 802
> Bob,
> 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.
> Roger
> 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.
> >
> >Regards,
> >Tony
> >
> >At 02:36 12/02/2004, Grow, Bob wrote:
> >
> >>Colleagues:
> >>
> >>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 
> >>staff.
> >>
> >>
> >>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 
> >>organization.
> >>
> >>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 
> >>work?"
> >>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
> >>
> >>
> >Regards,
> >Tony