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[Ham-80211] Access control suggestions

Marlon K. Schafer ooe at odessaoffice.com
Thu Nov 4 16:49:23 UTC 2004

Hi Guys,

I've been swamped and haven't had time to chime in here for a while.  Your
note, Drew, caught my eye a bit.

First let me say that I'm a board member of www.wispa.org.  We'd love to
work closely with you guys for the benefit of all spectrum users.
Especially those that are not monopolistic in thought and action.  I've cc'd
our list on this and will attempt to forward comments from our group to this
group if anything looks appropriate.

First I have to take exception to the term "our spectrum".  Spectrum (right
or wrong) has been determined to be a public resource and the FCC has a
mandate to manage it in the manner that benefits the bulk of the American
people.  For the "common good" I think is the terminology that Robert Cannon
(plans and policy office) used to explain it to me.  "Our" should be used to
denote Americans not Hams or WISPs.  This might be splitting hairs as you
guys probably have a greater grasp on that than I do but I wanted to make
sure that my point of reference was crystal clear for the rest of my

Next, anytime spectrum is opened up for "Part 15ers" (I love that term btw,
very catchy) it's also opened up for Ham use.  Part of the magic of Part 15
is that, when looked at open mindedly, is the biggest boon to the Hams in a
very long time.  Have you looked at all of the amazing new, inexpensive
(sometimes downright cheap) gear that's out there now?  And when using Part
15 devices to get higher speed internet access out to your locations faster
than you'd normally get them by waiting for someone else to build
infrastructure you can have levels of contact with others for whatever
reason than you've ever had before.  I have a neighbor who's a Ham.  He
LOVES his $35 per month 1+mbps internet connection that comes over a part 15
network.  He's got some device hooked to it that allows other Hams all over
the world to CALL him via PC.

I've even seen a phone now.  A regular ol' handset.  About $100.  Hook that
to any broadband connection with a public ip and call any other location
with a similar phone, talk all you want for free.

I'm sure that most of you have heard of www.vonage.com.  In my office we use
it for all outbound long distance calls.  Anywhere in the country.  $30 per
month I think is what they are billing me.  Our long distance went from
nearly $400 per month to under $100 (only have one line so the "normal"
lines have to be used once in a while).  That's a 75% savings.

As an outsider it seems that the handwriting is on the wall.  The Hams are
going to be expected to take advantage of new and upcoming technologies (and
isn't that a lot of what being a Ham used to be about in the first place?
How many of you built your own radio that first time you got involved????)
and share "their" spectrum with other users who are also fulfilling the
"public good".

Be glad that you are still primary users of the band.  I run my business,
feed my family of 5 etc. as a secondary user.  With NO protection from
interference.  Yes I knew the risks when I signed up, I'm not whining (well
not much anyway) simply stating a fact of life.

We, the unlicensed community, are going to keep working for more unlicensed
spectrum access.  On a non interfering basis.  In fact we'll likely be
looking for access, at very low power levels and with non interference hooks
, to most all spectrum.  In our area we can't get a decent TV signal despite
the best Channel Master antenna I can find AND a rec. amp.  The only thing
I've not tried is to replace the RG coax (don't remember which it is but
it's not the smaller of what normally gets used) with a run of lmr400.  But
with only 60 or 70' the change in DB loss isn't enough to get me excited.  I
just by my local channel transport from DishNetwork and be done with it
(except when it rains or snows hard....).  I have yet to hear anyone do a
good job of explaining why I shouldn't be allowed to use those hunks of
spectrum for broadband access and provide a benefit for the local community
out of a public resource that's being wasted today.

It's hard but the world is changing.  I think you guys will have more luck
moving forward with the unlicensed community than you would fighting to keep
something that the winds of change are gathering steam to pull from your
grasp.  Maybe a partnership between wisps and hams can somehow be formed in
a way to get rules changes that work for both of our interests.  We're (the
wisps) not hopeful at all that we can get something like the BPL ruling
through but we are hurting from our very successes.  We need room to grow
our industry.  There's too much good being to for too many customers and
there's no stopping this runaway train.  The question now becomes (at least
in my mind) how do we keep it on the right track so that it doesn't crash
into another train or jump it's tracks and wipe out entire communities of
spectrum users.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Drew Baxter" <droobie at maine.rr.com>
To: "Steven Phillips" <steven_phillips at yahoo.com>; "TAPR Mailing List for
Ham Radio Use of 802.11" <ham-80211 at lists.tapr.org>
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 7:19 AM
Subject: Re: [Ham-80211] Access control suggestions

> My concern is that the FCC is going to largely keep hacking away at our
> spectrum in that mid-2ghz spectrum and then we couldn't do that anymore.
> don't have a lot of faith in using those allocations solely because the
> current FCC seems to be on a tangent of commercial interest.  I'm hoping
> they'll be making some changes there and perhaps many amateur-radio
> issues will take different turns.
> I don't think they're going to kick all the Part 15ers off the current
> block that is used for 802.11b/g.. So I think we're safer finding ways to
> adhere access control within the existing footprint at the moment.  It's
> largely easier to co-habitate with the masses than put ourselves in a
> position where we can lose the allocation where our hill-top gear is.
> That's purely my thought though.  I agree, like you seem to, that using
> higher frequency allocations would be nice but we'd have to contend with
> other issues.  Cost seems to be the largest issue.  We'll go around trees,
> use mountains, etc. to overcome obstructions, but we've never been able to
> easily get over the hurdle of the dollar.   I'm hoping as the components
> become cheaper, perhaps we'll have better opportunity to explore.
> that also means other unlicensed folks could easily do the
> same.  Otherwise, they'd simply give us a software tool and let us tweak
> the frequencies on the WiFi radios for our purpose.
> Maybe someone (such as K5YFW) can set my mind at ease about my concerns.
> --Droo, K1XVM
> At 09:54 AM 11/4/2004, Steven Phillips wrote:
> >Here's another idea.  Transverters.  Switch them to a
> >frequency of our choice.  10GHz would be an
> >interesting band to experiment with for long distance
> >links.  Granted, build a transverter isn't the
> >cheapest solution, but, it's probabaly a lot cheaper
> >than the D-Star system.  Or, would it be better to
> >build a frequency multiplier or sorts to keep them in
> >the 2.4GHz range, just lower or raise the frequency a
> >small bit to put them into the ham only portions?
> _______________________________________________
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> ham-80211 at lists.tapr.org
> https://lists.tapr.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ham-80211

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