Oh Look, Another Wireless Standard Delay

The standards process for wireless gear hasn’t been working out really well lately: the fracture of the UWB standard is holding the market back, while the 802.20 process has been suspended after allegations of malfeasance. Chugging along in the background has been the 802.11n process, which is supposed to deliver a standard for the next generation of WiFi gear. The first draft of the spec was approved late last year, while the lack of a finalized standard hasn’t stopped vendors from releasing plenty of (incompatible) “pre-N” gear, and now comes word that a vote on the second draft of the standard will be pushed back several months (via Broadband Reports), meaning the standard may not be finalized until early 2008. Obviously there is value in creating standards, that’s undeniable. But when the process becomes so long and drawn out that vendors ignore it with all sorts of pre-standard gear, or it’s so open to manipulation that any consumer benefit is lost, what’s the point?

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