Wireless Network Management

Q

Wireless networks abound in many diverse forms. Most notable are the plain old wireless networks that many of us have in our homes, along with the general UCAR-maintained network. These radios operate in an unlicensed part of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, meaning the bandwidth has been designated for public consumption with some controls on the maximum power levels.

My question is in regard to the UCAR NETS group's recent attempt in controlling these unlicensed bands. Certain parts of NCAR are (or will be) experimenting with wireless networks in the same unlicensed band that the UCAR wireless network is located (2.4 GHz).

Does the UCAR NETS group have the ability to halt these tests/development efforts as they both use the same spectrum as UCAR's wireless network?

If NETS can halt these tests, are they prepared to forcibly stop all uses of Bluetooth devices, as they also operate in this band?

Is the UCAR NETS group prepared to issue cease and desist letters to UCAR's many neighbors regarding personal wireless routers?

If the U.S. government has declared chunks of the RF spectrum as free for consumer use, by what authority does UCAR, or the UCAR NETS group, dare restrict such devices' operations?

Answered on May 13, 2009

A

Wireless management at UCAR is guided by the Network Coordination and Advisory Board policy (see link below). The Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section (NETS) does not control or halt wireless usage. NETS, per the policy, asks that wireless usage and testing be communicated in case of interference and/or wireless performance issues. NETS has allowed and supported, and in many cases participated in, testing of other 2.4 GHz band devices in accordance with the policy.

To date, NETS has not seen any evidence of interference between Bluetooth and 802.11 WLANs. As such, there has been no need to restrict usage of Bluetooth peripherals.

If there are particular cases of wireless testing or uses that need to be addressed, please contact NETS to discuss.

Policy on 802.11 Wireless Access Point Deployment

Marla Meehl
NETS Section Manager