The Home Plug Alliance can put another point in the powerline networking score column as the IEEE's P1901Working Group incorporated its HomePlug AV technology as part of that draft standard. Heralded as an alternative home networking approach that leverages a home's existing electrical lines versus Ethernet or coax cable, the new draft standard is essentially a set of new features, according to Alliance President Rob Ranck. These new features include a signaling element that enables the P1901 standard to incorporate both the HomePlug AV approach to powerline and Panasonic's Wavelet technology that's seen wide adoption primarily in Japan.
While neither approach is interoperable, the goal of the IEEE P1901 was to avoid a religious war over what approach would work best, which would have delayed the release of new powerline products and adoption of powerline-based home networking. About 70 percent of today's powerline connections incorporate HomePlug AV technology, while Panasonic is one of the biggest other vendors. The Home Plug Alliance said that powerline vendors will incorporate the new standard into their respective products by mid to late 2010.
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