The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) set the final-draft standard for the Apple-championed 802.11g standard last week.

The standard offers a data rate of 20Mbps - lower than the 54Mbps originally announced but the news indicates no actual change to the specification, according to Apple's vice president of software, Mike Bell.

Bell, speaking with MacCentral's Jim Dalrymple, said: "802.11g is still a 54Mbps standard. 802.11b is 11Mbps, but your actual throughput is somewhere between 4 and 5-1/2Mbps. The number that's quoted is the data rate that's used between the radios’ raw data rate, which includes the protocols, and so on."

Bell explains that the data rate for the backward-compatible standard hasn't changed in the final draft. Bell says that on mixed 11b and 11g networks, the draft standard actually offers better backward-compatibility and better throughput.

Existing users of AirPort Extreme products have voiced concern that these won’t be fully compatible with the final IEEE standard. Apple has promised a software update to bring its products into line with 11g when it’s ratified.

Apple's vice president of hardware product marketing Greg Joswiak told MacCentral: "There is nothing of significance technically that we can't put out in a software update."

He added: "There are some folk out there making a last-ditch effort to try to cause confusion in the market."