[MLB-WIRELESS] Evangelism

Jamie Lovick jalovick at doof.org
Thu Feb 6 12:08:42 EST 2003


On Thu, 6 Feb 2003, Kym Michael wrote:
> A computer magazine for an upcoming article is interviewing me and
> amongst the questions are the following.

Great, let us know the details.

> Any contributions to help me give an accurate picture of the
> industry would be appreciated.

There are several segments of the wireless "industry", including
licenced spectrum providers and 802.11b based providers. For now
we'll focus on the 802.11b providers. These are made up of:

- Small Hotspot providers such as Internet cafe's, etc.
- Large Hotspot providers such as Telstra/SkyNet Global and others
- Wireless ISP's (WISP's) such as BigAir, Alphalink, and others.
- Non-commercial Community Wireless Networks

Hotspot providers do not require a carrier licence, but should be
complying with Carrage Service Provider rules, as specified within the
Telecommunications Act. Hotspot providers are limited to providing
access within their property boundry, as specified in a recent
Ministerial Decloration.

Wireless ISP's are required to hold a carriers licence or a nominated
carrier decloration from a licensed carrier. As a carrier, the network
segment (wireless link) can be used for any carrier class service, such
as data, voice, and any other telecommunications use. WISP's are bound
to all of the other rules associated with being a carrier.

Community Wireless Networks are networks built by individuals or
organizations within the community for the purpose of interchange of
data and information within the community. Community Wireless Networks
do not require a carrier licence due to the fact that Community Wireless
Networks operate within the "non-commercial" exemption within the
Telecommunications Act. Because of the non-commercial requirement, it is
currently believed that providing Internet access would break the
non-commercial use condition. Various groups including the Australian
Wireless Association and Melbourne Wireless have been communicating with
the ACA, the Attourney Generals Department, and the Telecommunications
Minister's office to try and establish a middle ground, if one exists.
The current feeling is that we may have to comply to carrage service
provider rules as specified within the Telecommunications Act.

> Questions
> 6) Are there wireless computer standards that people need to know
> about? If so, how can people find out about them?

Pertaining to non spectrum licenced 802.11 style devices, aside from
the IEEE 802.11b and similar standards for wireless devices, and the
ACA's Spread Spectrum Device Class License, there are not really any
standards for the deployment of 802.11 style networks.

Groups such as the Australian Wireless Association and Melbourne
Wireless are working to create Psuedo standards for the deployment of
such networks, to make life easier for everyone.

> 7) How big a problem is security with wireless computer set-ups?
> What can be done to make them more secure?

Any good security expert will tell you that there is no such thing as
"secure", something is either more secure or less secure. Keeping this
in mind, 802.11 based devices do have WEP security. While not perfect,
since it has been proven to be weak security, WEP is a good first line
of defence. Recently 802.1x security and authentication has made
wireless alot more secure, as unlike WEP, it doesn't rely on a shared

> 9) Each area of computing has its own unique jargon - are there Web
> sites that people can use to familiarize themselves with the
> concepts and buzzwords that are associated with wireless computer
> set-ups?

There are a variety of uses for wireless technology. At a Community
Level, melbourne.wireless.org.au, sydneywireless.org, and
australianwireless.org have a good amount of information, but not really
a totally comprehensive end to end description.

There is a good site that covers alot of the technical aspects of
deploying 2.4 GHz wirless networks at:


There are also a number of articles and tutorials which may be useful


> Answers are to be non-technical yet informative.

I hope i've been informative enough .. :)

> Also are you an education/training user of wireless computing and
> willing to be used as a case study.

I can't speak for Melbourne Wireless, but the Australian Wireless
Association is happy to participate. Please Email us at
askus at australianwireless.org. We are already undertaking some projects
which are likely to be used as case studies for some vendors.

> I would like to work Melb Wireless and other community networks into
> my interview responses. If you have any ideas on how to do so in an
> article mostly about my business and home/business adopters let me
> know.

If you have any additional questions, please Email me via
askus at australianwireless.org.



Jamie Lovick    <->  IT Consultant    <-> +614 1479 1681
Hobby     : Doof.org                   -> jalovick at doof.org
Director  : Drastic Solutions Pty Ltd  -> jalovick at drasticsolutions.com.au
----- Public Relations Officer - the Australian Wireless Association -----

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