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Re: [802SEC] Report on Investigation of Allegation of Dominance in 802.11.pdf


Thank you for posting this to the reflector.  I agree with Bruce's
conclusions, that there is a necessity to educate the chairs on methods
to detect dominance and to deal with it as it occurs.  There is one
factual error in the report, that is probably due to my not being clear
enough about the vote in question in TGv.

The second poll in TGv did meet the criterion I mentioned, where 35-37
members voted, if you remove the abstentions.  I apologize if I did not
make that point clear in my discussions with Bruce.  While it did not
matter to the outcome of this particular poll, the Broadcom block
represents more than 26% of all voters on that issue.

It is easy to see that the Broadcom voters are a clear block that can
control the passage of any technical motion in that task group.  Given
the typical attendance in TGv and the usual abstention rates (as shown
in the two polls on page 3 of the report), it would take increasing the
number of voters casting a "yes" vote on a technical motion by 50% to
overcome opposition by the block of voters from that single company.
This would give Broadcom virtual control over the entire content of the
TGv draft.  If this is not dominance, by any definition, I am sure that
I don't know what is.

This is why I chose to bring this issue into the open in March.  The
behavior has become blatant and dangerous to the standards development

Broadcom is not alone in this behavior.  They simply happened to pull
the right stunt at the wrong time.  As Bruce pointed out, 802.11 is high
stakes business.  Companies must dedicate resources long in advance of
the approval of a standard, in order to be competitive.  The requires
placing technological bets on early drafts or proposals not yet
incorporated into a draft.  The semiconductor industry is particularly
susceptible to this early commitment requirement, because of the lead
time to produce chips and supporting software to be available for a new

Because of the economic commitment to a speculative development program
for a chip for a standard not yet approved, it is not a stretch to
believe that some managers might commit the human resources necessary to
make sure the standard ensures the bets placed are going to be winners.
I believe that this is what was observed in TGv in March and on multiple
other occasions in other task groups in 802.11 in the past.

I hope that Bruce's request for guidance and support to identify and
remediate dominance behavior is responded to immediately.  I also hope
that tighter observation of the voting behavior in 802.11 is instituted
at the July plenary.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** [mailto:STDS-802-
> SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Paul Nikolich
> Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2008 3:04 AM
> Subject: [802SEC] Report on Investigation of Allegation of Dominance
> 802.11.pdf
> Dear EC members,
> Attached is Bruce Kraemer's report on his investigation into the
> allegation
> of dominance in 802.11 made by Bob O'Hara at the March 2008 closing EC
> meeting.  Bruce will briefly discuss it further at Monday's opening EC
> meeting.  I can schedule an EC ad hoc for a more in depth discussion
> we
> feel it is necessary.
> Regards,
> --Paul
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruce Kraemer" <>
> To: "Paul Nikolich" <>
> Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 11:07 PM
> Subject: Investigation of Allegation of Dominance in 802.11.pdf
> ----------
> This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
> This list is maintained by Listserv.

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