An industry consortium's plan to develop its own specification for power line-based home networking has upset a standards body working towards the same goal.
While the 36-member HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced this week that it has chosen technology from Intellon as the baseline for its specifications, the Electronics Industry Association/Consumer Electronics Association (EIA/CEA) has still to reach that stage.
William Rose, chairman of the EIA/CEA's home networking committee, said it has been trying to collaborate with the HomePlug Alliance to co-ordinate efforts, but to no avail.
The lack of agreement may result in the industry having two competing standards.
The two bodies had each promised to set up working parties to co-operate on the standards effort, but according to Rose, the HomePlug Alliance is a newly formed group compared with the one set up by the EIA/CEA. But Alberto Mantovani, the Alliance's president, said it would work with the EIA/CEA.
However, this could be hampered as confidentiality agreements limit the amount of information the Alliance can make public. The two bodies have also adopted different approaches.
While both aim to support streaming media, for example, the EIA/CEA has opted for a minimum speed of 1Mbps, while the Alliance has chosen a minimum threshold of 10Mbps.
Both bodies aim to release their respective specifications by the end of the year, and although the EIA/CEA has yet to select its base technology, observers believe it is possible that it may also choose Intelleron's technology.
Karuna Uppal, an analyst with the Yankee Group, said: "The Alliance has picked a technology pretty quickly and has started talking about field trials. That's a good sign, but the problem is proving the technology works in all homes."
Researcher Parks Associates has forecasted that power line-based home networks will grow beyond the 32 million nodes projected for 2004.
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