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[Ham-80211] Access control suggestions

Jeff King jeff at aerodata.net
Thu Nov 4 18:32:59 UTC 2004

FYI, things stand like this as far as access to the ISM bands:

Part 18  (things like microwave ovens)
Part 97 (hams)
Part 15 (cordless phones, Wifi, wisps, etc)

Now, due to the shear volume of part 15 equipment, the priority hams have 
over part 15 is like playing whack a mole. You whack one, another one pops 
up. And also Part 15 is the FCC's golden child (for a very good reason) so we 
have to carefully chose the moles we whack. I think the ARRL knows this and 
I'm positive TAPR knows this.

Still, WISP's need to play nice with hams, since they are a bit more high 
profile then the typical part 15 users (and the non-profit part 15 community 
networking movement is largely comprised of hams). That much being said, my 
guess is the number  of true "part 97" WiFi installs likely less then 200 due 
to the content/access restrictions. I've only seen a few WISP's that acted 
like bull's in a china shop with regard to technical regs. Most try to be 
good citizens and it doesn't take much effort from either side to make this 

But never forget, that microwave oven at the 7/11 has more (legal) rights to 
the band then either Part 15 or Part 97. If your going to base a business 
plan on Part 15, or a critical part 97 repeater link, you better darn well 
know that. 

If I was a WISP (I'm not because I am allergic to customer support, although 
I have consulted to a number of them), I'd only target underserved rural 
areas. Competing with DSL/Cable is a zero sum game. And in rural areas, you 
have little amateur radio activity, 7-11's let alone outdoor ham WiFi. Its a 
win/win for everyone.

Jeff wb8wka

On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 08:49:23 -0800, Marlon K. Schafer wrote:
>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 thoughts.
>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
>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.
>Thoughts? marlon
>----- 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
>>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
>>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
>>--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
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