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The standardization of powerline communication( PLC) is being driven forward by, among others, the HomePlug Powerline Alliance ( HPA); an alliance of various development, manufacturing and sales companies of PLC components. HomePlug's standardization efforts are directed at home networks that communicate with each other via powerline networks, i.e., via the line voltage.

Transmission speeds were 14 Mbit/s in the initial phase. With the HomePlug AV standard for Broadband Powerline( BPL), the data rates have been increased to over 200 Mbit/s. Data throughput is around 100 Mbit/s, which is perfectly adequate for HDTV, video-over- IP and VoIP. The transmission can be done with Quality of Service( QoS) over the power grid, telephone cable and coaxial cable. It is encrypted with the Advanced Encryption Standard( AES) with 128 bits. The AV standard was later extended to include the AV2 version with data rates of 1 Gbit/s, which is used in IEEE 1901 compliant devices. In terms of transmission, AV2 uses MIMO technology. It is inconpatible to AV1. These high data rates ensure uninterrupted live streaming and are ideally suited for online gaming.

The low-cost HomePlug concept is suitable for the home and SoHo( small office, home office) sectors, where small local networks are connected to routers, access points or printers. The HomePlug Alliance ensures product interoperability and certification. The alliance includes companies such as Arkados, Cogency Semiconductor, Comcast, Conexant, EarthLink, Intellon, RadioShack, Sharp (and Sony Electronics.


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