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When will 802.11i will be released?

When will 802.11i will be released? I thought it should have been last quarter 2003 and apparently it was not.
That is THE $64,000 dollar question for the wireless security community. Unfortunately, the only accurate answer is REAL SOON, where the value of REAL SOON is a moving target.

The IEEE 802.11i (Enhanced MAC Layer Security) supplement has been underway for quite some time now. The latest draft was circulated for sponsor ballot in late November 2003. That ballot closed in late December with an 89% approval. Comment resolution has already started and will continue at the next IEEE meeting in March 2004. After comment resolution, the revised document will have to go through sponsor confirmation ballots until there are no further unresolved comments or technical changes, at which point it can be submitted to the IEEE Review Committee and Standards Board for formal approval.

It's possible that comments can be fully resolved in March, but it's more likely that the document will be finished later this year. There are also dependencies on other related drafts such as IEEE 802.1aa and IETF RFC 22284bis, so this is a very difficult horse race to call. To get the latest on TGi status and activities, visit the IEEE 802.11 Web site. In the meantime, if you're chomping at the bit to deploy the stable parts of 802.11i, check out the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) snapshot, now available in many retail products.

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