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Why aren’t G.hn and HomePNA included in P1905?

The G

By PETER WHITE

Published: 28 April, 2011

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The G.hn (HomeGrid) and HomePNA (HPNA) home network standards are not currently included in the IEEE’s P1905 effort, although HomePlug 1901 and MoCA are included, possibly because of competition, according to usually reliable sources that claim accurate knowledge of the events. P1905 is an attempt to develop a bridging layer that will encompass multiple home networking technologies.

When the P1905 group met in December 2010, G.hn and HomePNA members were represented and intended to have their standards added to P1905. However, at some point during the December meeting, G.hn and HPNA were excluded with no reasons given publicly, although details of the meeting have not been disclosed. However, the G.hn and HomePNA camp found their exclusion unacceptable and they are appealing the ruling with the IEEE.

Their appeal is to stop the removal of G.hn and HPNA from P1905. The appeal seeks to overturn the vote against G.hn and HPNA on procedural issues. It’s expected to be a subject at a meeting next week on April 27 at IEEE in New Jersey.

The appeal does not appear to be an attempt to block P1905. Several HPNA and G.hn supporters have said they believe that an open P1905 standard is needed by the market and that they support P1905 if HPNA and G.hn are included. P1905’s charter clearly states that the spec is written so that other networking technologies can be added. The question is why G.hn and HPNA are not included now.

The future versions MoCA 2.0 and HomePlug AV2 were not included in P1905, so a case might be made that P1905 should not include standards that are not completed and have no system products on the market as is the case with G.hn. There are currently no known boxes with G.hn on the market. However, the G.hn standard was completed last year and several G.hn chipmakers have said they will have components this year, well before the 1905 standard is agreed.

However, HPNA is an existing standard, and HPNA products are being installed. HPNA proponents say there are about 20 million HPNA devices installed compared to an estimated 35 million for MoCA. HPNA supporters also say they have a much larger installed base than the current AV version of HomePlug, not including the original HomePlug 1.x version, which still has a larger installed base than HomePlug AV.

The P1905 committee has strong ties to HomePlug. The chairman is Paul Houze of France Telecom-Orange, a very large deployer of HomePlug in its pay-TV efforts. The vice chairman is Qualcomm’s Purva Rajkotia who was with the HomePlug chipmaker Intellon when Atheros bought it.

G.hn and HomePNA supporters are upset by the move to exclude their network standards because:

1) Technical merits don’t appear to be the justification for their exclusion.

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