IEEE Works on Broadband Power Line Standard

Broadband through your power line? One plug which provides power and Internet connectivity? These are but some of the thoughts circulating around the IEEE as today they began working on IEEE standard P1901, “Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications”.

The net result of this new standard is an attempt to make it easier for high speed broadband access to be available, especially in those areas where phone and cable may not be an option. P1901 will apply to broadband-over-power-line (BPL) devices for first-mile/last-mile connection to broadband services, as well as those for the local area networks and other data distribution systems to function over copper power lines in a building. A target date to complete the standard is sometime in 2007.

“The ability to transmit digital data over power lines from substations to homes and offices is attracting attention because it transforms wall outlets into Internet portals,” says Jim Mollenkopf, co-chair of the IEEE BPL PHY/MAC Working Group. “This approach resolves the tough task of linking long-distance fiber optic cables to individual computers and should make the Internet even more universal than it now is. If BPL is to become widespread, there is a need for a robust standard that supports the use many types of BPL devices. Our intent is for IEEE P1901 to be that standard.”

More information on P1901 can be read in this PDF file.

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