HomePlug and IEEE want our home networks to play nice, talk to each other

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HomePlug and IEEE want our home networks to play nice, talk to each other
HomePlug hasn't exactly struck it big on the home networking scene but, with so many disparate options (none of which play very nice together) it's not hard to see why. The Powerline Alliance is throwing its support behind a new IEEE standard, P1905, that may ease our consumer pain and make the outlet connectivity tech a better fit for our dungeons living rooms. The goal is to create a layer that sits atop the various wired and wireless hookups that blanket our homes and let them easily share data. Bridging the gap between HomePlug, HomePlug AV, Ethernet, WiFi, and MoCA is an ambitious task to tackle, but we've got faith our gadgets can get along.
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HomePlug® Powerline Alliance Announces Support for IEEE P1905 Convergent Digital Home Network Standard
First Standard for Hybrid Home Networks Combining IEEE 1901 / HomePlug AV, Wi-Fi®, MoCA® and Ethernet

Portland, Ore. - June 21, 2011 - The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance (www.homeplug.org), the world's leading industry group for powerline network solutions, today announced its support of the IEEE P1905 working group's efforts to define the first standard for hybrid home networks. A P1905 network would include combinations of stationary home networking devices such as set top boxes, home gateways, Blu-Ray players and televisions, and mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and cellphones.

The IEEE P1905 standard provides an abstraction layer to established powerline, wireless, coaxial cable and Ethernet home networking technologies - IEEE P1901 / HomePlug AV, Wi Fi®, MoCA® and Ethernet. The standard enables consumers and service providers to combine the capabilities of otherwise disparate networks to maximize a home network's overall performance and reliability. IEEE P1905's abstraction layer common interface allows applications and upper layer protocols to be agnostic to the underlying home networking technologies. Packets can arrive and be transmitted over any technology according to quality of service (QoS) priorities. IEEE P1905 also simplifies network setup by providing common setup procedures for adding devices, establishing secure links, implementing QoS and managing the network.

"The hybrid home network is clearly the network of the future - offering the best networking technology to meet the consumer's needs - so IEEE establishing this standard is significant," said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. "HomePlug is pleased that the P1905 working group has recognized HomePlug's undisputed leadership in powerline communications solutions by selecting IEEE 1901 as the underlying powerline communications cornerstone of IEEE P1905. Consumers will immediately benefit from enhanced reliability, ease of use and flexibility. For service providers this translates into the promise of reduced installation and support costs. Encompassing the capabilities of the most commonly installed home networking technologies, this standard promises to deliver the maximum level of interoperability."

Several HomePlug member companies are making significant contributions to the development of IEEE P1905, including Broadcom, Cisco Systems, France Telecom, Qualcomm Atheros, Ralink, Sigma Designs, SPiDCOM Technologies and STMicroelectronics. The group made substantial progress in April by approving the technical requirements, architecture and definitions upon which the standard will be based.

About the HomePlug® Powerline Alliance
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. (www.homeplug.org) is an industry-led initiative with 65 member companies that creates specifications, marketing and certification programs to accelerate worldwide adoption of powerline networking with HomePlug technology. With HomePlug technology, the electrical wires in the home can now distribute broadband Internet, HD video, digital music and smart energy applications.

The Alliance works with key stakeholders to ensure HomePlug specifications are designed to meet the requirements of IPTV service providers, power utilities, equipment and appliance manufacturers, consumer electronics and other constituents. The HomePlug Certified Logo program is the powerline networking industry's largest Compliance and Interoperability Certification Program and the program has certified over 240 devices

Sponsor members include Broadcom Corporation (BRCM); Cisco (CSCO); Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK); GE Energy, an affiliate of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE); Qualcomm Atheros (QCOM); Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723); SPiDCOM Technologies; and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM).

"HomePlug" is a trademark of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
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