HomePlug®/Panasonic® Proposal for Powerline Communications Moves Towards a Ubiquitous IEEE Standard

Thursday, February 28th, 2008
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The Sole Remaining In-Home and Access Cluster Proposals Continue Progress, Accepting Input from Industry Stakeholders

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Leading up to next week’s IEEE meeting, taking place March 5-6, 2008, in Fukuoka, Japan, the HomePlug® Powerline Alliance today announced that its proposal, submitted together with Panasonic®, continues to move towards comprehending a broad range of industry requirements which will allow the creation of an international standard for In-Home and Access powerline communication technologies. Following a vote in mid-October, the IEEE P1901 work group rejected all other proposals, leaving the HomePlug/Panasonic proposal as the only remaining proposal under consideration.

The advantages of powerline communications for digital home services such as IPTV, multi-room DVR and broadband access are clear. No other multimedia networking technology can meet the high levels of coverage, performance and convenience demanded by digital services in today’s networked home. As such, members of the HomePlug Alliance and Panasonic are actively working with members of the IEEE P1901 work group and outside industry stakeholders to ensure that the specifications address the broadest spectrum of the requirements.

“The HomePlug Powerline Alliance and the IEEE share the common goal of creating a single powerline standard,” said Matthew Theall from Intel Corporation, who serves as president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. “The goal of the HomePlug Alliance is to focus on working with others to create the absolute best solution for the industry by creating a single standard that will benefit consumers worldwide. We continue to make excellent progress, and we believe it is in the best interest of those involved to incorporate the interests and suggestions of all parties, large and small, as we move towards a truly ubiquitous standard.”

“Powerline communications addresses many varied needs and applications, and as a result, there are many stakeholders in the process,” said Mikio Mizutani, executive vice president of Panasonic Communications Co. Ltd. “Discussing these solutions with the interested parties and addressing the technical requirements for each potential application is a challenging task, but a task that we are happy to take on in an effort to propose the best possible solution for the industry.”

The HomePlug Alliance, its member companies, and Panasonic fully support the IEEE process and believe that the completion of an industry-wide standard will be a significant step forward for the powerline industry. This solution will enable all equipment vendors, service providers, technology providers and consumers to come together under one common roof. The final solution recommended to the IEEE P1901 work group by HomePlug and Panasonic will be a more complete solution than was originally anticipated, and takes into account the requests of all interested parties and offers the efficiency of a single MAC with the flexibility to support both the HomePlug AV and HD-PLC PHYs.

HomePlug and Panasonic are strongly committed to delivering a single, mature solution that will be endorsed by the IEEE 1901 work group as the baseline standard. The important work of refining the technical details of the HomePlug/Panasonic proposal continues to move forward, but will not be complete by the time of the upcoming meeting in Fukuoka on March 5 and 6. The HomePlug Alliance and Panasonic expect to announce plans for completion of the joint proposal after the conclusion of next week’s IEEE 1901 meetings.