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FCC still has ton of explaining to do on Wi-Fi blocking rules

Bob Brown | Feb. 4, 2015
IT shops and wireless LAN product vendors are still unsure as to what constitutes illegal "Wi-Fi blocking":

Cisco complains that the FCC's interpretation of certain network management security as jamming technology "de-values the use of Wi-Fi in enterprise and service provider environments." A policy statement from the FCC on such matters would make it clearer to network administrators what they're allowed to do from a security and management perspective in an increasingly BYOD world and would enable vendors to better communicate to customers how their products should be used, according to the Cisco comment. Cisco did not have any further comments based on the recent FCC enforcement warning about Wi-Fi blocking.

Aruba Networks, which filed its comments to the FCC jointly with Ruckus, said it is "disappointed that the FCC did not use this opportunity [related to the hospitality industry petition] to clarify what rules govern Wi-Fi, and under what circumstances using Wi-Fi containment technology is allowed."

Our attempts so far to get clarification directly from the FCC's media relations office have been as unsuccessful as of those of vendors and IT pros.

But it's clear the FCC, which has its hands full with everything from new broadband definitions to net neutrality, is going to have to carve out some time to provide the industry with more information on Wi-Fi blocking before long.


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