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Powerline Ethernet standardisation effort still stuck

Lead proposal rejected, made lead proposal again

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An attempt to define a standard for in-home powerline Ethernet networking remains deadlocked after the lead proposal failed to win sufficient support from IEEE members this month.

A joint specification touted by the HomePlug Alliance (HPA), Panasonic and Hisilicon only won the approval of 69 per cent of the IEEE P1901 Working Group participants - 34 votes to 15, with two abstentions. It needed at least 75 per cent of the vote to become a basis for the draft version of the future standard.

However, while that failure to win sufficient support saw previously rejected proposals brought back into the running, most notably the Universal Powerline Association's (UPA) specification, these were all once again thrown out.

That leaves the HPA offering once again facing a confirmation vote, which is due to take place early next month at a Working Group meeting in San Francisco.

The last one was in Madrid, and previous meetings in the past 12 months have taken in Miami; Fukuoka, Japan; San Diego; and Boston. Nice work if you can get it.

But not if you're expecting a powerline Ethernet standard in 2008, which was the forecast timeline for the project when it was established back in 2005.

Of course, the HPA-Panasonic proposal count romp home at the 4 November vote, but given the way the voting's been going, this seems unlikely - unless participants really do want this thing done and dusted.

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