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IEEE-SA ADOPTS PLAN TO MOVE 802.20(TM) BROADBAND WIRELESS STANDARD FORWARD

Contact: Francine Tardo
+1 732 465 5865, f.tardo@ieee.org

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 19 September 2006 The IEEE Standards Association Standards Board (SASB) today announced its plan to enable the IEEE 802.20 Working Group to move forward with its work to develop a mobile broadband wireless access standard and provide the best opportunity for its completion and approval. The plan calls for the working group's reorganization including the appointment of new officers as well as new balloting and balloting resolution committees. It also clarifies and tightens requirements for disclosure of affiliations. The decision is the outcome of an investigation by the SASB into appeals and other concerns that had led to the temporary suspension of the working group's activities.

The June suspension stemmed from an ongoing investigation into concerns that the working group had become highly contentious, appeared to lack transparency and showed evidence of possible "dominance" and other potential irregularities. After considering input from IEEE 802.20 working group participants and a cross section of other interested parties, the SASB concluded that certain steps were required to safeguard the standards development process and ensure that consensus on an IEEE 802.20 standard can be reached and that the standard can receive IEEE approval.

Among the actions approved by the SASB on 15 September are the following:

  • All of the IEEE 802.20 officers will be replaced in an effort to provide clearly neutral leadership and to eliminate perceptions of possible bias. The working group will remain suspended until at least a chair is approved by the SASB, which the SASB anticipates will take place on or before 12 November.
  • Members of the IEEE 802 Executive Committee (EC) will work with the new officers to identify and address any efforts to dominate the IEEE 802.20 working group and to submit a plan to ensure dominance does not occur.
  • All ballot and ballot resolution groups will be dissolved and reconstituted. The IEEE EC chair will determine when any balloting may begin. The plan preserves the right of the working group to move forward with the existing work product or consider alternative technology.
  • IEEE 802.20 working group participants will be required to disclose their true affiliations at each meeting. They must identify any person or organization that, directly or indirectly, has requested, paid for or otherwise sponsored his/her participation.

"The measures the Standards Board announced today are carefully designed to address the IEEE Standard Association's commitment to principles of fairness, openness and due process in standards development," said Steve Mills, IEEE-SA Standards Board Chair.

"The vast majority of participants in IEEE-SA standards activities have always acted in the good-faith and cooperative spirit that has resulted in high quality and broad adoption of IEEE standards, including the 802® family of standards," Mills said. "The IEEE-SA Standards Board expects that the combination of greater transparency and reorganization of leadership and balloting groups will foster that spirit in 802.20 and will result in a high-quality 802.20 standard developed through a fair and open process."

Additional details are available at:
http://standards.ieee.org/announcements/IEEESASB802.20Report.pdf

About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that brings diverse parts of an industry together. These standards set specifications and procedures based on current scientific consensus. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of more than 870 completed standards and more than 400 standards in development. For information on IEEE-SA see: http://standards.ieee.org/.

About the IEEE
IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its 365,000 members in 150 countries, the society is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization also sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 international technical conferences each year.

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