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A key compromise reached in Draft 2.0 was to require that products operating in the 2.4 GHz band default to using the standard 20 MHz channel width that is backward-compatible with the majority of the 802.11b and g Wi-Fi networks in operation today. All Draft 2.0 Certified wireless access points and routers are supposed to "out of the box" power up using the compatible 20 MHz channel width mode.

The hole was discovered by SmallNetBuilder's Tim Higgins while testing a soon-to-be-released wireless router that had received Wi-Fi Draft 2.0 Certification. It was found that the router defaulted to using channel-bonded operation in the 2.4 GHz band, which was confirmed by monitoring the channels acutally used during the test. Higgins contacted the product vendor, who confirmed that the product had indeed passed Wi-Fi Certification.

Higgins' then passed his findings to Wi-Fi Alliance Lab personnel. They confirmed that the Draft 2.0 test plan specified that the use of 20 MHz channel bandwidth in the 2.4 GHz band was mandatory. But they also said that there was, in fact, no actual test performed to confirm compliance.

SmallNetBuilder requires that draft 11n products that it tests be Wi-Fi Draft 2.0 Certified. The unreleased product is the only Wi-Fi Certified product found to date to violate the Alliance's Certification 20 MHz mode "out of the box" requirement.

The Wi-Fi Alliance initiated its Draft 2.0 Certification program in June of this year to ensure product compliance with the interim draft standard. Products must pass an extensive test suite that is administered only in Wi-Fi Authorized Test Labs.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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