By Rich Nesin, General Manager, HomePNA
Last summer I attended an IEEE P1901 standards meeting - the group standardizing home networking and broadband access over powerlines - and was inspired to post a couple blogs about the experience.
Well, half a year has passed and if you haven’t been following the play by play action you haven’t missed much. If you recall, the current P1901 “compromise” proposals (there are 3) came about after HomePlug and HD-PLC supporters broke the three-way deadlock by combining their proposals at the expense of UPA. The new proposal, constructed by gluing together large chunks of HomePlug AV and HD-PLC along with some new “coexistence” circuitry, will allow them to coexist with HD-PLC and HomePlug AV as well as with other existing powerline home networking technologies (or at least the existing technologies that implement the new coexistence mechanism). It will coexist with some technologies – and you can guess which ones -- better than with others. At least it will if they can ever get past the proposal stage and start working on the actual draft standard.
Anyway, six months later and the drama continues. The joint proposal was voted down at the Madrid meeting which, in theory, should've sent everyone back to their drawing boards to draft a new proposal. That’s the theory. In fact what happened was that the same compromise proposal is being voted on again.
Now, and this is hearsay (but juicy hearsay), the rumor is that a certain party has been very active adding voting supporters to P1901. Some of these supporters, the rumor goes, have little to do with home networking or access over powerlines. As we discussed in the past, a new member must attend a couple of P1901 meetings to vote on a proposal so this is where the rumor gets juicier. The proposal supporters have asked for a telephone conference on December 9th, before the next face to face meeting in Japan on December 16th, to review the “no” comments made subsequent to the last meeting in San Francisco. Speculation is that they have requested that this teleconference be considered a working group meeting so that it counts toward the new members’ voting qualification.
Wouldn’t it be better if we all just tried to get along?