Home networking standard advances, gains BT’s backing

Thu, 05/28/2009 - 9:40am
Brian Santo, a proposed international home networking standard that aims to bridge several existing standards, inched closer to ratification as the international standards organization ITU-T progressed the new draft for and adopted as "Baseline Text" significant portions of the data link layer (DLL).

The standard picked up an important potential backer in BT, which joined the board of the HomeGrid Forum, a trade group that is promoting the standard.

The action by the ITU-T means development of the proposed standard remains on schedule, the HomeGrid Forum said.

Stabilizing the DLL spec will help silicon vendors progress in creating designs and producing preliminary products. To date, three silicon vendors and one silicon intellectual property vendor have announced their intention to develop products for the new standard, the HomeGrid Forum said.

Key elements of the DLL that reached Baseline Text within the ITU-T are: a time division multiple access (TDMA) media access control (MAC), which provides guaranteed bandwidth and low latency for applications that have strict quality of service (QoS) requirements, such as IPTV.'s MAC also includes support for multiple priority levels, to ensure that an application, such as peer-to-peer file transfers, do not impact the performance of higher-priority applications like IPTV, VoIP or online gaming.

A logical link control (LLC) sub-layer ensures delivery of data over home electrical wiring.’s LLC employs an advanced, selective ARQ (Automatic Retransmission Request) protocol that automatically re-transmits data affected by noise and provides error-free, end-to-end Ethernet services to any device on the network connected to powerlines, phone lines or coaxial cables.

Meanwhile, BT joined the HomeGrid Forum as a member and gained a seat on its board of directors.

“Today we provide customers everything from voice calling to advanced video on demand offerings. BT supports the standard as we believe it will enable us to enhance our customers’ experience relating to the services we offer – connecting customers more effectively with content,” said Bob Bissell, chief customer environment strategist at BT and HomeGrid Forum board member.

“We have been an active participant in the ITU workgroup for and look forward to working with HomeGrid Forum to promote and bring this new standard-based technology to market.”

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