Broadband over power lines gets first industry standard draft

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Chicago (IL) – Broadband over power lines is marching closer to actual availability. The P1901 Working Group today announced the release of the first draft defining medium access control and physical layer specifications for IEEE's Standard P1901.

The draft was approved with more than 82% majority vote during a meeting held in Tokyo from July 21 – 24, the IEEE announced today. The initial version is based on technologies using FTT and Wavelet OFDM modulation schemes.

"This is a major milestone," said Jean-Philippe Faure, chair of the IEEE P1901 Working Group. "Main development is completed and finalization now starts through successive rounds of circulations for vote and comment."

"This is a comprehensive specification that addresses all BPL applications including LANs, Smart Grid networks and Broadband access," said Faure. "The draft fully meets the over 400 technical requirements developed by the experts in these areas. The coexistence and interoperability part ensures all equipment and devices used on BPL networks are compatible."
The draft also provides seamless integration with other communication media, such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet, according to the IEEE. The Working Group recently announced a partnership with the P2030 Working Group on Smart Grid interoperability as well.

IEEEP1901 is expected to provide a bandwidth of greater than 100 Mb/s via alternating current electric power lines using so-called Broadband over Power Line (BPL) devices.

The P1901 Working Group will next meet in Boston, on October 13 – 16.