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Showing posts from March, 2015

Not Sniffing, But... The FCC's 3.5 GHz WiFi Proposal

I have some interesting stuff about the topic that this blog is supposed to be about (WiFi sniffing) coming soon.  I promise.  But the FCC made some news concerning WiFi today, and I want to help people understand it.

This post is happening because of what the FCC did in March, 2014.  What the FCC actually did was (probably) kill WiFi channels 52 to 144 by imposing new rules (the effects of which we have yet to see, because APs approved by the FCC prior to March, 2014 do not have to follow the new rules) that make WiFi devices more likely to work poorly when Doppler RADAR is on those channels.  What the FCC claimed they did was "increase availability of spectrum for high speed, high capacity" WiFi.

Technically, the FCC can claim to be something other than liars.  The March, 2014 rules did increase spectrum availability in a narrow sample of use cases.  What was really going on, however, was the FCC doing the bidding of Doppler RADAR operators (who, possibly-not-so-coincident…

Two Radios Are Better Than One (Unless They're Both 5 GHz)

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If there's one thing we've learned about WiFi over the years, it's that problems get fixed.  Site surveys used to be sooo annoying.  So we got controllers with auto-RF.  Guests used to complain and complain that we didn't have WiFi for them.  So we got captive portals.  And so the worl--

Wait a minute.  Auto-RF really doesn't work and we still need site surveys.  And captive portals annoy our friends in desktop support as much as they annoy our guests, plus they drag down overall WiFi performance.  Hmmm...  Let's start over:

If there's one thing that we've learned about WiFi over the years, it's that sometimes what seems like a good solution to a problem only ends up making things worse.  

Which brings us to our latest solution-that-only-makes-things-worse: Dual-radio APs with band-selectable radios.

A little background:

Last week, I was sitting in an office, minding my own business when I got a call.  A friend of mine who works in WiFi had a questio…