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The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee (LMSC) is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an active standards development organization. The IEEE 802 LMSC was created in March of 1980 to bring together forward thinking technology leaders to develop interoperable network standards for computers and office equipment.

“From the local coffee shop to the International Space Station, the standards produced by the IEEE 802 committee dramatically influence our everyday lives and will continue to do so,” said Paul Nikolich, chairman of IEEE 802.

IEEE 802 began with the novel idea of creating a Local Area Network standard for shared local communications among multiple vendor devices. Inspired by the creation of the High-level Data Link Control Standard and the Xerox Ethernet product, the IEEE 802 committee went on to create a family of network standards based on a common architecture and supporting multiple access methods across a variety of physical media. Based on the committee’s continuing work, the 802 portfolio has expanded to more than 100 innovative standards encompassing a wide variety of existing and emerging technologies and applications.

Although these technologies are critical elements in today’s global communications network infrastructure, users are often unaware of their application or the role of the 802 committee in making them broadly available, affordable, reliable, and secure.

The IEEE 802 committee has continued to develop leading innovations for local and metropolitan area networks for copper, fiber optic media, and wireless technologies for local, regional, and personal network applications. The IEEE 802 is celebrating its 30 year history as an advanced technology driver for global wired and wireless computer communication networks, as well as looking forward to its continuing innovations.

With its ongoing work, the IEEE 802 committee continues to redefine and extend networking and communications standards for business, industry, and consumers. By embracing emerging and extending existing technologies, network requirements of applications such as the SmartGrid, remote medical diagnostics, and richer, more immersive virtual reality experiences are addressed.

A series of events is planned for celebrating the 30th anniversary of the IEEE 802 committee, including the unveiling of a retrospective of 802 standards from inception to present day, and the publication of an anthology of insights from distinguished business and industry leaders about the significant impact of these standards.

“The work done by IEEE 802 represents one of those great evolutionary leaps that we rely upon without recognizing the truly significant and meaningful impact it has on our daily lives. For example, it is estimated that greater than 98% of all Internet traffic crosses one or more IEEE 802 networks during its transmission. Without IEEE 802 standards to build upon computer-to-computer connections, simple email, Internet access, World Wide Web, and mobile broadband would not have been possible to the extent we see today. IEEE 802 standards are undeniably an essential foundation of today’s networked world,” said Patricia Thaler, vice-chair, IEEE 802.

Tags: LAN, WLAN, 3G, WiMAX

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