WiFi Alliance Accused Of Holding Back Innovation

A couple months ago, we were surprised that the WiFi alliance finally discovered their backbone and threatened to pull certification from pre-standard or non-standard products that interfered with legitimate WiFi offerings. There simply are too many proprietary solutions masquerading as the next generation of WiFi — while enticing customers with higher speed numbers that (a) no one will ever reach for real and (b) very few people will actually use, because they’re just surfing the web, where the bottleneck is their connection out to the world. However, not everyone agrees. Here’s an opinion piece from Datacomm claiming that this effort by the Alliance is stifling WiFi innovation. The argument is that companies won’t innovate now — which is ridiculous. The innovation is occurring and companies are more than welcome to push these products to market. The problem is when they claim or imply that these new technologies are WiFi — when they clearly are not. That damages the reputation of WiFi (especially when there are interference problems). No one is saying these companies can’t innovate or push the envelope. They’re just saying that those innovations cannot and will not be called WiFi when they’re not. That seems perfectly reasonable, and not at all stifling.

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