HomePNA Unanimously Votes for 2.0 Standard

Last week, the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) announced that new technology proposed earlier in March by Lucent and Epigram (now a subsidiary of Broadcom) is now the basis for the 2.0 standard for 10 Megabit/second home networking technology.

Several companies have already announced that they expect to ship products equipped with 10Mbps high-speed home networking this year. High-speed home networking is expected to give consumers the benefits of networking home PCs and intelligent devices (including set-top boxes), and enabling home users to simultaneously access high-speed Internet services from two or more computing or entertainment devices using an existing in-home telephone line and a single modem and Internet service provider.

Mike Wolf, an industry analyst for Cahners In-Stat Group, says that "this is great news for the PC and consumer electronics providers looking to capitalize on the high-speed home networking marketplace. Increasing consumer demand for broadband set-top boxes, Internet appliances, and modems underscore the need for 10Mbps speeds. The new HomePNA 10Mbps specification blends the combined communications-semiconductor and home-networking expertise of Lucent Technologies and Broadcom Corporation." Cahners In-Stat Group believes the US home networking marketplace will grow to $1.4 billion by 2003, with the vast majority of products based on HomePNA specifications.

The HomePNA—a consortium of more than 90 companies from the PC, consumer electronics, and network equipment manufacturing industries—aims to deliver a single, unified networking industry standard for use over existing telephone wires, and to rapidly bring to market a range of interoperable home networking solutions.

Lucent's Tony Grewe states that the "selection of this 10Mbps home networking technology only about a year after the concept hit the industry's radar screen is proof of how bullish the industry is about home networking applications and their multiple benefits of greater versatility, reliability, and higher speeds to consumers. Home networking technology progressed from a concept introduced a year ago to a real-world, viable technology. I am not aware of any other technology for consumers in this industry that has raced along at such a frenetic pace."