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[EFM] Copper questions for EFM

Fellow EFM'ers,

Following the St. Louis meeting, we (the whole EFM TF) have some serious questions to
consider regarding the copper effort. Those of you who were at the meeting will remember
that there was much confusion over copper baselines and proposals. A super-brief

1. The Raleigh compromise

After much debate & discussion regarding seemingly incompatible goals and objectives, we
reached a compromise which seemed acceptable to both the "DSL-types" and the

802.3ah would define a single PHY, aimed at short reach, high bandwidth applications.
This definition would be based on VDSL and would preserve the interface definitions from
T1E1.4 (alpha/beta) and ITU-T SG15/Q4 (gamma) which would enable other standards to be
defined in a compatible manner. These would include (but not be limited to) SHDSL, ADSL
and the to-be-developed 10MDSL.

As a result, we passed the copper objectives unanimously in the Task Force.

2. St. Louis copper sub task force

We spent a lot of time in the copper STF discussing what would happen after we choose a
baseline - particularly the choosing of a line code. As a result, there was a lot of
division and (though I hate to say it) ill-feeling. Despite all this, we passed the
baseline proposal by >80%. The rival baseline proposal was rejected by >80%.

3. St. Louis surprise motion

A motion was introduced in the closing Task Force session which was not on the agenda.
This motion said, in essence, that we should reject the copper objectives and baselines
and replace them with new versions proposed. This motion got >60% support but failed to
win the 75% it needed to be binding.

The fact that it got a majority (albeit slim) is a major problem for the copper STF as
it shows that the consensus reached in 1 & 2 above is completely invalid.

4. St. Louis baseline vote

When the copper STF presented their baseline adoption to the main Task Force the
proposal got a majority but failed to reach the 75% needed for adoption. This may be
largely due to the discussion and ensuing confusion following the surprise motion.

The net effect is that the copper STF is without a baseline.

So this leaves us with some questions which need to be addressed by the Task Force to
resolve the copper problems:

A. What do you want the copper STF to do?

This is the big question - do you want the copper STF to disband (meaning that we
resubmit the PAR for 802.3ah without a copper track)? do you want to restate the copper
objectives (also meaning a resubmission of the PAR to 802.3)? do you want the copper STF
to choose a different baseline (or to choose in a different manner) which meets the
agreed objectives?

B. How can we maintain consensus from one meeting to the next?

If we can swing from unanimous support to 60% opposition in 2 months - on the basis of a
surprise motion, how can we continue with any degree of confidence?

C. When and how must these questions be answered?

Do we need a "final resolution" in May? Can we make such a resolution in an interim and
expect it to hold for the Plenary?

I look forward to any input on this subject. Feel free to send responses to the
reflector or to myself privately as appropriate.