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Re: [802SEC] Electronic Participation in Interim Meetings



First thanks for the response.   Here are some responses on my behalf.  


For the record, here is the only relevant governance I am aware of.  It
is from the SASB OM:


5.3.3 Standards development meetings 

Standards development meetings are to be conducted consistent with the
principle of openness. Working group participants may include members
and non-members when the requirements to gain membership are specified
in Sponsor or working group P & P. A 'meeting' includes any convening
for which notice was required to be given or for which
membership-credits or other participation rights are either earned or
exercised. Meetings may be in-person or may be via electronic means, as


The term 'as appropriate' clearly seems to leave it up to the individual
Sponsors etc to decide when electronic means are appropriate.  There may
be other governance (did something recent on teleconferences happen at
the December SASB?) but this is all I know at the moment.  Note that
section 2 of the Chairs Guide does deal with online / teleconference
stuff but does not infer one way or another as to whether it is
permitted at interim / plenary sessions.  


As for concern that allowing this on a regular bases will cause 'massed
exodus from face-to-face attendance' with 'extreme, negative
consequences to our standards development activity' (yes I've glued
things slightly out of context here but I think it was the general
direction you were going), I think it's too early to conclude that.  Who
is to say that there is no better way to conduct business than we do
now?  Technology has been advancing, why shouldn't our meeting
techniques.  Smaller attendance is not a bad thing, it's a good thing as
long as it results in the same quality standards.  We want people to
spend less money and travel (pollute the environment) less.  I believe
that some issues require face to face negotiations to resolve.  But if
we can reduce that by a factor of 2 (again assuming the same quality
product) haven't we done a wonderful thing for the world?  Yes we need
to consider the financial impact on IEEE802, but if it is done in a
controlled way, a reduction in attendance may not be a disaster.  


Here are a few details on how I was planning to conduct the meeting
including electronic participation at the Wireless Interim (open for
comment of course):


Participation credit:


It is my intent that no one will be given participation credit for
participating electronically.  There is no membership in the ECSG, so we
will not be tracking participation for that purpose.  However, we are
setting thing up so that other WG may grant participation credit for
participation in the ECSG for people who are physically there only. I
don't expect any WG will extend credit for electronic participation and
I don't plan to grant it.


Concerning voting:


We are an ECSG and SG in general are banned from letter ballots by our
P&P.  This makes no sense to me, but that's the way it is.  The only way
for us to take votes is electronically at the moment, and we have been
taking votes that way.  Since in a SG anyone can vote, and we'd like the
broadest view possible, I plan to permit electronic participants to
vote.  However, we have no specific votes planned at this time.


Concerning Chairing of the meetings:


As I noted prior to accepting the position as Chair, I may be unable to
attend the Wireless Interim (I don't normally attend interims and my
home group is not meeting at this Interim anyway).  If I am not
physically there, as arranged at the last EC meeting Steve Shellhammer
will chair (he was elected as Vice Chair of the group) in my absence.
Steve will Chair even if I participate electronically. 









Matthew Sherman, Ph.D. 
Engineering Fellow 
BAE Systems -  Network Systems (NS) 
Office: +1 973.633.6344 
Cell: +1 973.229.9520 


From: Phillip Barber [] 
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 2:55 PM
To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
Cc: 'Roger Marks'; Bob Heile; 'Paul Nikolich'; 'Rigsbee, Everett O'
Subject: RE: [802SEC] Electronic Participation in Interim Meetings




I assume that these individuals that are attending the meeting remotely
by teleconference will not be given Participation credit, though they
are attending the meeting. The 802 P&P, Section specifies
'Participation is defined as at least 75% presence [emphasis added] at a
meeting.' I would argue that remote participation by teleconference does
not constitute 'presence' as we have traditionally construed the
meaning: physical presence in the meeting room at the specific meeting
interval, for a substantial portion of the meeting interval duration.


As Buzz indicated, any precedent decision to allow Participation credit
to attendees by teleconference would undoubtedly subvert motivation for
Members to continue the economic and physical hardships associated with
the travel and attendance of our bi-monthly face-to-face meetings. I
think you should very well expect a massed exodus from face-to-face
attendance should such Participation credit ruling be made/established,
especially during these challenging economic times. 


I personally do have concerns similar to those expressed by Bob Heile.
Erosion of the face-to-face meeting format would have extreme, negative
consequences to our standards development activity.


Even minor defection would be disastrous. Just 15%- to 25%-attendance
transition to remote participation would cause disruption; reliance on
less-rich communication media even for a few causes delays for all


While teleconferences provide a richer, more timely communications
medium than email exchanges or listserver participation, audio
teleconferences are still vastly inferior to video conferencing, or more
importantly to the most rich communications media we as humans can
enjoy: face-to-face communications. In my experience, the best
teleconference is fractionally efficient to a well run face-to-face
meeting, especially when many participants are involved.


Our work is too important, too time-sensitive for us to allow the
devolution of our participation method. We absolutely require the
bandwidth of face-to-face meetings to make rapid progress in our
standards development efforts. Our need for this face-to-face
communication causes some hardships, hardships we have accepted as the
necessary cost for our efforts.


In my view it is a simple equation:

*         conduct face-to-face meetings and develop better standards,
bringing new interoperable technologies to market faster, creating and
advancing multi-Billion dollar industries that benefit all;

*         or do work more casually, using email and teleconference as
our primary communications vehicles, which results in poorer standards
developed over longer cycles, reducing both the size and value of the
industries they foster


In our efforts to accommodate the needs of a few we should not undermine
the value and effectiveness of our overall efforts. 



Phillip Barber

Chief Scientist

Wireless Advanced Research and Standards

Huawei Technologies Co., LTD.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:17 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Electronic Participation in Interim Meetings


Hi Bob,




Feel free to call me if you want to discuss it in person, otherwise I'm

happy to conduct a dialogue on the reflector.  It is a complex topic,

and would require a long exchange of e-mail I suspect to reach a meeting

of the minds.








Matthew Sherman, Ph.D. 

Engineering Fellow 

BAE Systems -  Network Systems (NS) 

Office: +1 973.633.6344 

Cell: +1 973.229.9520 





From: Bob Heile [] 

Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 1:07 PM

To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA); STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG

Subject: Re: [802SEC] Electronic Participation in Interim Meetings






I am strongly against this.  Face to face meetings are the most

conducive to an effective exchange and debate of ideas. Frequent

telecons between meetings lets everyone participate but the meeting

itself should not be compromised.  Beyond that it sets a dangerous

precedent for extending that to Task and Working group meetings.  





At 12:54 PM 1/10/2009 -0500, Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA) wrote:





EC Members,




I have received requests from TV Whitespace ECSG members to allow

electronic participation (teleconference / Webex) for the ECSG meetings

at the upcoming Wireless Interim in LA.  I have discussed this with the

IEEE 802.11 Chair (Bruce) who has no objection, and made sure that

appropriate facilities are available.  I checked with the IEEE 802 chair

(Paul) who said he would permit electronic participation for the ECSG at

the interim if it was conducted as an 'Experiment' (with hypothesis and

metrics) to see if it adds clear value to the standards process.

Accordingly we have formulated a hypothesis and metrics and plan to

conduct three two hour meetings at the wireless interim that include

electronic participation, and will conduct straw polls at the end of the

session to see if the metrics support our hypothesis.   We will make the

results of this experiment available to the EC at the March session,

along with other planned outputs from the ECSG.




If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me.




Best Regards,


Matthew Sherman 

Chair, IEEE802 Whitespace ECSG 

BAE Systems -  Network Systems (NS) 

Office: +1 973.633.6344 

Cell: +1 973.229.9520 








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Bob Heile, Ph.D

Chairman, ZigBee Alliance

Chair, IEEE 802.15 Working Group on Wireless Personal Area Networks

11 Robert Toner Blvd

Suite 5-301

North Attleboro, MA  02763   USA

Mobile: +1-781-929-4832





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