Tim Rousset Explain How the WLAN Association Changes Can Better Serve the Wi-Fi Community

by | Jul 30, 2018 | Blog

The Wireless LAN Association’s mission is to define industry best practices and quality assurance in the delivery of Wi-Fi networks.

In this post, Tim explains how the WLAN Association changes can bring more benefits to the Wi-Fi community. Go HERE to listen to the entire interview.


Keith Parsons:
We’re here in DC and I wanted to talk to you about Wireless LAN advisory board. It’s now changing its name to Wireless LAN Association. You are involved on the executive committee for a while and I thought we’d spend a couple of minutes and talk a little bit about it and how you got involved.

Tim Rousset:
All right, perfect!

Keith Parsons:
So, how did you get involved?

Tim Rousset:
Well, it was interesting. I felt like I was a little late to the party. The executive board was already starting to form when I first became aware of the Wireless LAN advisory board. As you are well aware, the Wireless LAN advisory board had its initial beginnings in the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference in Dallas.

From there, Alan Blake had a nice talk and presenting his ideas for what this had become while Wireless LAN advisory board now become a Wireless LAN Association. What would that look like? I was sort of on the side listening to it and seeing some of the conversations go by.

But hadn’t been plugged in enough to actually be aware that the Wireless LAN advisory board had been created until after most of the executive team already coalesced. So, I got involved in the second meeting I believe and heard that there was an open slot on the executive team for the secretary position and throw my name into the hat.

Keith Parsons:
What kind of things are you involved in as a secretary?

Tim Rousset:
It’s probably not the most glamorous position from a purely technical Wireless position.

Keith Parsons:
I don’t think there are any glamorous volunteer positions.

Tim Rousset:
It’s a good perspective, but it’s a lot of setting up the meetings and making sure that the rooms are open. The huge advantage of attending a lot of meetings is I’m able to express myself and be present in all the meetings. That’s a huge benefit with it, but mostly scheduling meetings.

Then beyond that, I and Rick Murphy put together the beacon that goes out every month.

Keith Parsons:
So, tell us about the beacon. By the way, I love your tagline on the little masthead on the left side about what a beacon is. Well done!

Tim Rousset:
Well, that’s all Rick Murphy so I appreciate it. But, the whole thing is Rick’s brainchild so that’s been great too. I’ve been doing most of the content for it in terms of the large articles.

So, the beacon is our monthly newsletter that goes out and describes some of the work that’s going on and what’s happening within the Wireless LAN advisory board. Then, we’ve been doing a lot of interviews and they’ve been really fun for me.

The beacon is our monthly newsletter that goes out and describes some of the work that’s going on and what’s happening within the Wireless LAN advisory board. Then, we’ve been doing a lot of interviews and they’ve been really fun for me.

Keith Parsons:
How do you come up with some of those unique questions?

Tim Rousset:
Most of the questions are pertinent to the work that’s going on in the Wireless LAN Association. But, I always try to slip in something that’s a little bit more creative and just off the wall a little fun question at the end.

I go through your backgrounds, what I know about you and how you got involved in Ham Radio and what your Ham Radio sign is. So, things like that. Just something that’s a little bit more personal and something that you guys are interested that maybe not fully known by the Wireless community but they would still find interesting.

Keith Parsons:
So, Wireless LAN advisory board initially was to help come up with a set of guidelines on how to do good design at WLPC in Phoenix. The executive committee met a whole bunch of volunteers and the end result was a transition of going to the Wireless LAN Association and part of that would be the advisory board. Tell us about how that turned out? What’s the end goal here of having an association?

Tim Rousset:
So, within the Wireless LAN advisory board when that was running as a completely independent entity I guess, It was noticed that there were a lot of people who wanted to be a part of it, but didn’t necessarily want to help with the standards and wanted to more just be a part of an association.

No one really outright said that, but it was something that we had noticed as an executive board. Honestly on some of the other committees as well. It was an idea that we weren’t fully meeting the needs of the community. We were meeting some of the needs by creating standards for Wireless installations and designs, but we weren’t meeting all the needs of the community.

This really came out from Peter McKenzie and he was independently trying to create a Wireless LAN Association and we had a lot of overlapping people who would be involved in those two different communities. It just really talking things through and decided that it would be better to combine our efforts and have the Wireless LAN advisory board, then be a subset of the Association so that we can have a large group. A larger organization that would meet the needs of representing the individual wireless engineers and wireless community to help get the voice of those users across.

It would be better to combine our efforts and have the Wireless LAN advisory board, then be a subset of the Association so that we can have a large group. A larger organization that would meet the needs of representing the individual wireless engineers and wireless community to help get the voice of those users across.

Then, we have a separate subset of creating the standards that we’re looking to create. So overall within the wireless community, there’s a lot of entities that are able to have their voices heard. So, you have the equipment manufacturers of Cisco and Aruba.

I don’t want to leave anyone out. But the manufacturers who are able to help create standards, they’re getting their equipment certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. So, you have Wi-Fi Alliance out there pushing standards, getting their voice heard and that’s from more of an interoperability standpoint.

Then, you’ve got the IEEE who’s creating the protocols. The standards that are being pushed, but no one’s really representing the wireless implementers and that’s really where the Wireless LAN Association comes in. It gives us a voice because if we’re all talking to the vendors, we’re talking to Wi-Fi Alliance, we’re talking to IEEE, we’re all representing ourselves.

No one’s really representing the wireless implementers and that’s really where the Wireless LAN Association comes in. It gives us a voice because if we’re all talking to the vendors, we’re all representing ourselves.

So, that has a lot less weight than an association which represents all of us and our overall viewpoints. From that perspective, I think it’s a really good move for the wireless community because now these engineers do have a voice.

Keith Parsons:
So, what would you say to someone who’s thinking about joining? What do they do and how can they get involved?

Tim Rousset:
Yeah great! The best way to get involved is we have a website and on it there are lots of information on how you can join. That would be the first place that people should look.

You can also reach out to any of the executive board members – me, Allan Blake, Rick Murphy, GT Hill, Peter McKenzie, Sam Clements, Manon Lessard and of course, you Keith. That’s the 8 members of the executive team.

Keith Parsons:
I agree that any one of them were more than willing to talk to you and help get you involved. It is a community effort. The more people we can get involved, the bigger and stronger the community will be.

Tim Rousset:
Yeah absolutely!

Keith Parsons:
Well, final question for you. What are you doing in your spare time? Can I ask you what your hobbies are? If you had an extra 4 hours this weekend, what would you do?

Tim Rousset:
There was a point in my life when everything I was doing was technical. I was studying for different exams and certifications. At this point in my life, I’m trying to get myself in a better shape.

I put on a little bit weight, doing all that study. So these days, I’m finding myself doing more rock climbing, mountain biking. I love winter sports and there is a lot of fun.

Keith Parsons:
Isn’t it a wrong city for a winter sport?

Tim Rousset:
I grew up in Colorado, but moved to Washington DC ten years ago and still can’t get the snow out of my system. I love the snow and the mountains.

Keith Parsons:
Well great! Thanks for your time and hopefully we’ll see more on the beacon. I appreciate all your effort and helping the community with being part of the Wireless LAN Association.

Tim Rousset:
Thank you!


Tim Rousset has been in the networking field since 2003 with a focus on WLAN since 2007. He has a mix of government and private sector work experience covering many different verticals: museums, carpeted offices, warehousing, manufacturing, clean room, and outdoor deployments.

If you have questions or feedback, connect with Tim via Twitter.


Go HERE to listen to the entire interview.