[CUWiN] Fwd: [MediaAct] Need information on Community Wireless Networks

Todd Boyle tboyle at rosehill.net
Fri Jul 23 23:01:01 CDT 2004

>Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 15:26:10 -0400
>From: Harold Feld <hfeld at mediaaccess.org>
>To: activist at mediatank.org
>Subject: [MediaAct] Need information on Community Wireless Networks
>The FCC has proposed to allow relatively high-power devices to operate on 
>an unlicensed basis in the 36500-3700 MHz band. This could be a tremendous 
>boon to those deploying community networks using unlicensed spectrum access.
>Unfortunately, the FCC is also proposing to create a "professional 
>installer" certification.  It would be illegal to set up and operate high 
>powered devices without a certification.  It is unclear what certification 
>the FCC will require, but it has suggested that professional organizations 
>such as Part15.org would set the standards.
>MAP and New America Foundation are very concerned that this will make it 
>very difficult for community networks to use the new, higher power 
>devices.  Right now, a relatively few individuals with the relevant 
>experience can come to a community, train people in what they need to know 
>(including provide non-English language reference materials if necessary), 
>and then leave administration of the network to the local community, with 
>some tech support and further training by more technologically 
>sophisticated volunteers.  Imagine these volunteers needing to spend hours 
>preparing for some kind of certification exam and paying a potentially 
>high cost as a fee for certification. This is now the case in many 
>professions that require certification.  Even relatively easy 
>certifications, such as those for ham radio operators, can be quite 
>burdensome for the non-enthusiast.
>We are trying to educate the FCC about this issue.  But we need 
>information about community networks and how this change would impact 
>them.  Interested parties can either share their information with us by 
>contacting me at hfeld at mediaaccess.org, or can file directly at the FCC, 
>or both.  To file at the FCC follow the links on www.fcc.gov to "submit a 
>comment electronically."  The Docket Number is 04-151.
>Another area of concern is the FCC proposal to require identification 
>beacons in both high-power devices and low power devices.  While 
>identification beacons make sense in fixed high power devices (they will 
>allow parties that accidentally and unkowingly interfere with other 
>parties to arrange cooperative agreements, for example), they create a 
>serious problem in mobile devices such as lap tops.  Do we really have to 
>have lap tops regularly broadcast to anyone in range your name, contact 
>information, and location?  We would appreciate if members of the public 
>let the FCC know how they feel on this issue by filing in Docket Number 
>04-151.  To file electronically, go to www.fcc.gov and follow the links to 
>"submit a comment electronically."
>Thank you,
>Harold Feld
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