The Open PLC European Research Alliance yesterday announced the approval of what it claims is the first open global specification for Powerline Communications (PLC) access, also known as broadband over power lines.
Providing a baseline for PLC access technology and in-building applications, the specification essentially extends existing backbone technologies such as fibre to the home, DSL and coaxial using power lines.
The Alliance claims that the specification will accelerate mass rollout of high-speed, low-cost, broadband access, voice and audiovisual services, as well as utility applications for control and management operations.
Interoperability for non-Alliance technologies is provided by means of a co-existence mechanism, which it claims will guarantee that future versions of its system remain compatible with other technologies.
The specification has the support of the Universal Powerline Association, a group that includes a number of broadband over power line equipment suppliers. The Open PLC European Research Alliance is backed by the EU.
Technology from Spanish chipmaker DS2 has also been selected as the baseline for the specification.
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