Thursday, March 18, 2010

IBEC: FCC Broadband Plan Is a 'Mixed-Bag'

WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc. (IBEC), the nation's leading provider of Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) products and services to Rural America, commented on the FCC's National Broadband Plan released today.
Alyssa Clemsen Roberts, Government Affairs Coordinator of IBEC, remarked:

"The number one goal should be providing all Americans with affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet as soon as possible; the FCC's mixed-bag plan disappointedly lists that goal at third and provides itself a ten year period to reach it.  We would have hoped for a more aggressive plan and look forward to working with the FCC and our utility and technology partners to accelerate that plan to the benefit of rural citizens."

With BPL, customers literally plug into any electric outlet in their home to get broadband service. IBEC holds a number of industry-leading BPL patents. The cost to install BPL is a fraction of installing cable, DSL, or fiber optic solutions in rural areas because BPL relies on long-established and existing electric power lines and infrastructure.
IBEC, Inc. is a full-service provider of Broadband over Power Line Internet access solutions and services, electric utility SmartGrid management and control solutions, and powerline-based security systems.  Focused on meeting the broadband needs of rural and underserved America, IBEC is the leading provider of Broadband over Power Line solutions to rural electric utilities and their consumers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NETGEAR Intros Two New Next-Generation HomePlug AV-Certified Powerline Kits

NETGEAR, a provider of technologically innovative, branded networking solutions, has announced the addition of two next-generation HomePlug AV-certified powerline kits to its powerline networking solutions.

These two powerline kits are the compact Powerline AV 500 Adapter Kit (XAVB5001) and the Powerline AV+ 500 Adapter Kit (XAVB5501) with a filtered “pass-through” power socket.

Company officials said that these latest offerings come with speeds of up to 500 Mbps, and whole-home coverage and “groundbreaking” throughput.

The adapters incorporate are designed to be compatible with the draft international IEEE 1901 powerline standard, providing “greater speeds for bandwidth-hungry applications” such as lag-free Internet gaming, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), large file transfers to networked devices, and even simultaneous 1080p HD video streaming to multiple TVs throughout the home.

“With the dramatic increase in Internet-connected devices across the industry, such as TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs, gaming consoles and set-top boxes, consumers now require networking solutions that enable multiple devices to be running simultaneously,” said Chris Geiser, product line manager for in-home distribution consumer products at NETGEAR.

Until now, consumers haven't been able to seamlessly stream multiple Blu-ray quality HD videos to different TVs in their homes, Geiser said, adding that the company is offering new technology that will provide “uncompromising performance, higher speeds and the greatest throughput for these applications.”

The NETGEAR Powerline XAVB5001comes in compact size, smaller than a deck of cards and up to 50 percent smaller than competing products. Company officials said that it is thus an excellent choice for consumers who are concerned that a powerline device might block an open power outlet.

The HomePlug-certified NETGEAR Powerline XAVB5501 features an integrated filtered power socket for “pass-through” capability. Company officials said that this ensures that customers do not cannibalize an existing wall power socket with the adapter.

Both new NETGEAR kits offer backwards compatibility with other HomePlug AV products from NETGEAR, and installed HomePlug AV-certified products from other vendor. These kits are designed for compatibility with the draft IEEE P1901 global standard for high-speed powerline communications.

Both the newest launched powerline kits are expected to be available in Q3 of 2010 via retailers, direct marketers, e-commerce sites and value-added resellers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Duke Energy Joins HomePlug Powerline Alliance Board of Directors

Duke Energy, an electric power company in the United States delivering energy to approximately four million U.S. customers, has joined the HomePlug Powerline Alliance’s Board of Directors.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. is a consortium with more than 70 member companies that creates specifications and certification logo programs for using the power lines for reliable home networking and Smart Grid applications. The Alliance functions to enable and promote rapid availability, adoption and implementation of cost effective, interoperable and standards-based home powerline networks and products.
“Powerline networking will play a key role in connecting home appliances and systems to the Smart Grid enabling intelligent management and monitoring for energy savings and efficiency,” said David Mohler, vice president and chief technology officer, Duke Energy. “HomePlug, as a base specification within the IEEE  1901 Standard, offers an interoperable standards based technology roadmap from low cost to high-bandwidth and next-generation solutions that will meet the needs of the robust home network that is necessary for the smart grid. We look forward to increasing our involvement with the Alliance.”
“The Smart Grid has been a key focus for HomePlug, with HomePlug’s Green PHY (GP) specification at the center of our smart grid efforts,” said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. “Utility companies are key players in the roll out of the Smart Grid, and having a major utility like Duke Energy join our board of directors is a very exciting development for the HomePlug Alliance. We see them playing an integral role in shaping the future of the Smart Grid connectivity.”
Last month, HomePlug announced the expected finalization of the HomePlug GP specification for the first quarter of 2010. HomePlug GP is a low power, cost-optimized powerline networking specification targeting Smart Grid applications such as HVAC, smart meters, home appliances and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Major utility companies gave direct input into HomePlug GP technology, optimizing the specification for real world deployments. HomePlug GP is fully interoperable with HomePlug AV and the new IEEE 1901 Draft Powerline Standard.
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is committed to working with the industry in support of Smart Grid interoperability initiatives. HomePlug worked with the ZigBee Alliance to enable application-layer interoperability between ZigBee wireless and HomePlug powerline devices.
The ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy Profile has been named in the United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid interoperability standards roadmap.
HomePlug devices account for 75 percent of the world's broadband powerline communications market, and over 40 million devices have shipped to date. The Alliance works with key stakeholders to ensure all of its specifications are designed to meet the requirement for interoperability stated by service providers, utilities, equipment and appliance manufacturers, consumer electronics and other important stakeholders. The Alliance operates the powerline networking industry's largest Compliance and Interoperability Certification Program to ensure true multi-vendor co-existence and interoperability. The program has certified more than 190 products and will also begin certifying IEEE 1901 products in 2010.

Topscomm Selects Accent for China Smart Grid Powerline Communication Applications

Milan, Italy and Qingdao, P.R.C., March 16, 2010 ― Accent S.p.A., a leading fabless SoC provider offering highly differentiated platform-based System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions, and Topscomm, an leading Powerline Communication (PLC) solution supplier, today announced that Accent will provide a highly-integrated SoC device featuring a complete solution for China Smart Grid. The mixed-signal design will integrate a number of key functions, such as a powerful PLC engine, providing Topscomm a cost-effective solution for their Single,Three Phase Power Module products.  
"We selected Accent over a number of companies," said Mr. Jianhua Wang, the CTO of Topscomm.  "Accent's ability to provide a solution that would meet our product needs as well as their impressive track record was the right fit for our program."
"Our collaboration with Topscomm illustrates Accent's ability to deliver tremendous value in high-volume, cost-sensitive markets," said Federico Arcelli, CEO of Accent. "We look forward to working with a market leader such as Topscomm and insuring their continued success."