Manufacturing Compliance Committee
- Quick Guide
- The MCC was formed to set basic standards and verify compliance of the Hotspots being added to the Helium Network through HIP-19: Approval Process For Third-Party Manufacturers.
- The MCC reviews and votes to approve HIP-19 proposals.
- The purpose of the MCC is to ensure the security and integrity of the blockchain.
- The MCC does not endorse, govern, or regulate third-party manufacturers.
- The MCC requires manufacturers to submit copies of their regulatory compliance reports as part of the final audit.
- The MCC has the power to grant and revoke maker keys.
Purpose and Goals
The Manufacturing Compliance Committee (MCC) was formed to sets basic standards and verify that these technical, security, and ethical standards are met by manufacturers joining the Helium Network through the HIP-19 process.
Manufacturing a Hotspot is a new frontier for most manufacturers. They haven’t dealt with decentralized systems, or the blockchain and its trustless implications and responsibilities. Those features, which on the whole are beneficial, also create a risk that unwary and unethical manufacturers develop and sell products that could negatively affect the network.
The MCC’s mandate is to verify that manufacturers and their respective products meet the minimum functional requirements for a device to participate on the Network. This includes blockchain-related transactions, a check on relevant regulatory requirements for all radio hardware, and that the devices meet the minimum authentication, encryption, and security standards needed to protect the network. The MCC does not test for or enforce general product quality standards, ensure the overall quality of the product, or the manufacturing process. Nor does the MCC test products for optimized RF performance, only basic RF function is reviewed.
The MCC tries to set manufacturers up for success by letting them know the minimum standards they need to meet and perform a cursory (and NOT binding) check on pre-production units.
The MCC reviews the manufacturers at the following points:
- When a new manufacturer makes its first application. Company information is submitted and reviewed by the Helium Foundation and MCC.
- Each new Helium compatible product that the manufacturer brings to market is reviewed by the MCC.
The review consists of:
- Confirming that the appropriate radio certifications by country have been properly completed.
- Performing hardware audits to ensure it can interface with the blockchain.
The sole power the MCC wields is a very blunt instrument, which is that the MCC can bestow or withdraw “maker keys”. In layman’s terms, the Maker’s Keys are the passcodes that allow a unit to be added to the blockchain. This is a blunt and weak instrument by design; no one unit or entity should be able to hold the entire ecosystem hostage. If an entity could selectively withdraw any hotspots or group of hotspots' ability to participate in earning blockchain rewards, that entity would hold tremendous and centralized power.
A manufacturer is not bound or controlled by the MCC, the only required inspection points are its initial manufacturer application approval and the subsequent submissions of Helium compatible products for MCC hardware audit and approval.
After being approved, a manufacturer may fail to meet either the technical, security, and/or ethical standards set by the MCC committee. The MCC reserves the right to reassess the conformance of all approved manufacturers and their Helium products at any time. If significant violations are found the MCC may suggest the manufacturer take specific corrective actions and/or at its sole discretion choose to suspend or permanently withdraw the manufactures “maker key(s)”. This will prevent the maker from deploying any new Hotspots to the Helium network.
Due to the nature of a decentralized ecosystem, the broader assessment of which manufacturers are delivering high-quality and/or high-performance products must be left to the Helium Community and natural market forces. This puts a majority of the responsibility of “buyer beware” on the purchaser, which is unlike many other centralized network-connected products which are directly supported by the “network operator”.
MCC Member Requirements:
The Manufacturing Compliance Committee will prioritize prospective members with backgrounds and expertise in the following topics: blockchain, embedded systems, electronics manufacturing, security, and electrical, RF, or computer engineering.
Committee members should demonstrate clear written communication and technical documentation skills. They should have the ability to explain and educate others and conduct themselves diplomatically and respectfully to the community.
Committee members should be active within the Helium community, and demonstrate alignment to grow the Helium Network responsibly with reputable partners.
Committee members are expected to actively engage in MCC monthly meetings, discussions, and voting. The Committee may vote to remove a member that misses more than two meetings per quarter.
MCC members may serve indefinitely unless they are removed or resign. However, it is recommended that members cycle yearly.
- How to get nominated: MCC members may be nominated by a MCC member or a Helium Foundation member, then a vote will be held. ⅔ majority vote by the sitting committee must be met to approve the new member.
- Removing a sitting committee member: The MCC may vote to remove a sitting committee member if they do not meet the expectations and requirements outlined in this document. A ⅔ majority vote will also remove a committee member.
- Qualifications (see disciplines)
- Manufacturer approvals require a ⅔ majority vote.
- Changes to the MCC charter require a ⅔ majority vote.
- The MCC will meet for a live video call once a month. These monthly meetings are recorded and
notes are taken, both are publicly available to the community.
- Meeting are scheduled for 12pm ET on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. (This is subject to
change due to holidays, emergencies, etc)
- Tentative 2022 Schedule: January 19, February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, & December 21
- Recorded videos
- MCC Monthly Call Notes
- Announcements will be published on the Committee Announcements channel on Discord.
- Meeting are scheduled for 12pm ET on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. (This is subject to change due to holidays, emergencies, etc)
- The MCC will meet for a live video call once a month. These monthly meetings are recorded and notes are taken, both are publicly available to the community.
MCC Committee Composition:
To provide optimal guidance, the MCC seeks diversification of participants from the Helium community, Helium ecosystem participants, and domain experts.
If you are interested in joining the working group, please fill out an application.
Target committee size and composition are outlined in the following table.
|MCC Member Role||Profile||#||Voting?|
|Chair||Must have both, broad knowledge of the entire Helium ecosystem and technical expertise with the ability to commit the time required to lead MCC.||1||Yes|
|Vice-Chair||Back-up to Chair, with a similar background.||1||Yes|
|Helium Community||Active Helium community members interested in helping grow the network||2-3||Yes|
|Security Expert(s)||Member with expertise in encryption and supporting embedded hardware design practices using - HSM, TPM, TrustZone, secure boot.||1-2||Yes|
|RF Expert(s)||Member with expertise in RF design, regulatory testing, and certifications. Must be able to review and prove RF certifications issued by the FCC or other regulatory bodies. Specific expertise in LoRa, CBRS, and 5G is a bonus.||1-2||Yes|
|Manufacturers||Rotating representatives from the current group of approved manufacturers for a one-year term.||1-2||No|
|Advisor||Rotating industry domain expert||2||No|