A recent merger proposal between the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and the IEEE 1901 Work Group has led to the decision by the Alliance to begin certifying IEEE 1901 products under their strict certification and interoperability compliance program. The merger is set to be approved later this year. In the meantime, the certification of IEEE 1901-based (also called “broadband over powerline” or “BPL”) products to meet the Alliance’s interoperability standards means a longer list of devices and products that can all utilize the same existing powerlines within the home, and do so without interfering with one another.
Companies already members within the HomePlug Powerline Alliance include heavy-hitters Cisco, Comcast, and GE Security. Although there are over 75 companies, those three happen to offer home services and products integral to the connected or automated home: lighting, media, and security. That such an Alliance exists is a good thing for homeowners looking to incorporate a home automation system into an existing home. Communication via powerline between subsystems and devices means walls won’t have to come down to install expensive structured wiring. A wired solution also competes with growing wireless technologies offered by groups like Z-Wave and Zensys, and competition in this world is a good thing, as it means lower prices to the consumer.
For the full monty, read the press release on the Alliance website.