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Major Announcement by FCC on Access Points

by Vandana
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FCC has made a major announcement on expanding what your Access Points can support going into 2021 and beyond. The world of Wi-Fi will become less congested inside buildings and commercial spaces a key benefit as well as increased Bandwidth.
Below is the press release by the FCC and you will find out more information on what’s next online at various sites. Our take is this is great news but its going to take time to get this into the Access Points by the Cisco, Aruba, Extreme/Aerohive, CommScope/Ruckus and more. The key is when the end user devices laptops, iPhones and more can support this.


Commission Provides a Boost to Wi-Fi and Other Unlicensed Uses While Protecting Incumbent Services in the Band
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2020—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted rules that make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for unlicensed use. These new rules will usher in Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of Wi-Fi, and play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things. Wi-Fi 6 will be over two-and-a-half times faster than the current standard and will offer better performance for American consumers. Opening the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use will also increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi by nearly a factor of five and help improve rural connectivity.
The 6 GHz band is currently populated by, among others, microwave services that are used to support utilities, public safety, and wireless backhaul. Unlicensed devices will share this spectrum with incumbent licensed services under rules crafted to protect those licensed services and enable both unlicensed and licensed operations to thrive throughout the band.
The Report and Order authorizes indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200 megahertz and standard-power devices in 850 megahertz in the 6 GHz band. An automated frequency coordination system will prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on a proposal to permit very low-power devices to operate across the 6 GHz band to support high data rate applications including high-performance, wearable, augmented-reality and virtual-reality devices. The notice also seeks comment on increasing the power at which low-power indoor access points may operate.
Unlicensed devices that employ Wi-Fi and other unlicensed standards have become indispensable for providing low-cost wireless connectivity in countless products used by American consumers. In making broad swaths of the 6 GHz spectrum available for unlicensed use, the FCC envisions new innovative technologies and services that will deliver new devices and applications to American consumers and advance the Commission’s goal of making broadband connectivity available to all Americans, especially those in rural and underserved areas.

Action by the Commission April 23, 2020 by Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 20-51). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, Rosenworcel, and Starks approving and issuing separate statements. ET Docket No. 18-295; GN Docket No. 17-183

December 2020 may be our true return to Work Date!

by Vandana
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A new reality will begin to set in.
For some of us, we are not going to go back to our traditional offices probably till the end of the year.
December 2020 may be our true return to Work Date!

If you think about it - even if we can control the Curve - only some of us will be able to get back to our offices and travel even in the Summer. That is 90 more days. Its time to start planning for this.
The good news is we have all learned how to work from home and increase our productive use of Video, VOIP calls, email, document management and more. This can put us years ahead of the changes in the workplace as even the hardest to train on these applications now depend on them (you know who you are are!)
The US workforce is also moving to nearly 100 percent Wi-Fi at home and probably even more at the office (when we finally go back). Why now? Well because the office needs to be a more flexible workspace given the Social Distancing changes. ISP Speeds need to increase bidirectional (data caps need to go for good) but have proven for the most part reliable (uptime of more than 98% plus has been a realistic home exception).
In March we setup our End User VPN’s and got those that need it new laptops and cameras.

So, what to do now?
Well I propose we need to embrace the change and return to identifying the important projects that are going to be significant for our return all the way into 2021.
• Expanded use of cloud services like office 365, VoIP and video.
• Focusing on Security at home base systems for Corporate held data and plugging the weaknesses we had to live with in our current emergency status.
• Monitoring and improving the Wi-Fi at home. Wi-Fi now has to be as good as or better than the office (we can’t have a helpdesk person come to someone’s system and fix it. All this must be Remote and simple to manage and identify.)

On the Wi-Fi front, Our Company has been touting the new Wi-Fi experience monitoring system ET Network Patrol with Mobile EYE. What is it? A set of tools and engineering services to identity where the Wi-Fi is working less optimally at an enterprise workforce home system and if needed (which it will be,) how to improve it. We can see the client experience and track it over time. Right now, we have a free 60 Day trial for up to 1000 users.
Building on that need we also have home Wi-Fi in a Box. A set of hardware and installation assistance to bring the home users network inside the Cloud of Corporate computing. Get your workforce on a dedicated Wi-Fi system at home and away from the Netflix, YouTube and TikTok users.

Let us focus on this new reality and what is important.

Cleaning & Disinfecting AP's

by Vandana
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We are all in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak with everyday cases increasing.
Many of you may be getting questions from healthcare customers about sanitizing or sterilizing Cisco APs that are being deployed to screening, triage or exposed clinical locations.

It is specific to Aironet and Catalyst APs, but should apply broadly to Meraki APs as well. This should also be fine for Aruba, Aerohive Ruckus and other manufactures but do a small test on a sample AP if you are unsure.

Some of you are also considering how to reconfigure your office and work space and what would be required.
Sanitizing and disinfecting WLAN equipments are necessity in this time.

This is to provide information to all users about disinfecting or sterilizing Wireless Enterprise Networking Access Point and to provide some guidelines as to what chemicals to use for this purpose.

Cisco Access Points both Aironet and Catalyst series may be disinfected using a product by Steris called Spor-Klenz.

While this chemical is designed to be safe to use on finished wood, sealed granite, glass and stainless steel, it appears to not damage electronic equipment provided the cloth is damp and the chemical does not get into the device.

Note: While these two products were evaluated, other disinfecting products may also, be used but care should be taken when applying these products using the suggestions provided.

Stay Safe.