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[802SEC] brief on ISO/IEC JTC1 ballot of 802.11i

Dear EC members,
I think it is important that you and your members are all aware of what is happening with the JTC1 ballot of 802.11i.  To that end I asked Roger, who has been closely monitoring the situation along with me,  to help me prepare a brief on the current status of the situation (thank you for the help Roger).  It follows below.
IEEE was informed on 18 March that the JTC1 ballot of 802.11i,  originally scheduled to conclude on 9 May, has been suspended until  an indefinite date. The balloters have apparently received this note:
 "Following the outcome of the recent SC 6/WG 1 meeting in Frankfurt,  it has been decided, in consultation between the JTC1 Secretariat and  ISO Central Secretariat Management, to continue the present  suspension of the Fast Track letter ballot for ISO/IEC 8802-11/Amd 6  to permit further urgent consultations and discussions with all concerned parties."

IEEE has been informed that it is one of those parties. There has  been no specific discussion of a meeting date, but one of the parties  has suggested that it will be difficult to schedule before mid-May.  The new suspension follows on the heels of an earlier suspension,  from 15 Feb to 15 March (and apparently running up to the 18 March extension). The explanation for the former suspension was that it would allow for talks at the February SC6/WG1 meeting in Frankfurt. IEEE  has not been informed of any errors or irregularities with the  8802-11 ballot. It appears that a ballot suspension is nowhere defined in the JTC1 Directives (the governing procedures).

A group of interested people from 802 have held several teleconferences with IEEE-SA staff to try to develop an appropriate  IEEE response. The group has noted that the ballot, which was initiated on 15 September 2004 and is, procedurally, a six month process, may be delayed so long as to prevent comment resolution at the annual SC6 meeting of 28 August 2005.

Discussion on the teleconferences have involved issues of how to respond to the suspension, whether and/or how to appeal the decision, and how best to prepare for the Geneva meeting.
This summarizes the situation to date.  I will keep you informed as further developments occur.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Roger.  Finally, I would like to note the IEEE staff, especially Judy Gorman, has been very supportive of 802 and I would like to thank her for her help.

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