HomePlug is set to become a global standard with the commencement of a formal ratification process through the IEEE.

IEEE P1901 Working Group passed an initial sponsor ballot passed – with more than 80 percent of affirmative votes, the first step in the process.

Final ratification of the standard is expected in the third quarter of 2010, according to the HomePlug Powerline Alliance (HPA), which said that establishing HomePlug as a global standard should assure worldwide product interoperability and help drive broader adoption of powerline network technologies in home networking.

HomePlug AV was used as a baseline technology for the IEEE 1901 powerline networking standard. Due to the maturity of the draft standard, the IEEE is already offering the specification for purchase through its online store, enabling members to now develop Smart Grid applications, as well as next-generation broadband solutions that comply with P1901, the HPA said.

The HomePlug Alliance is also finalizing the new HomePlug “Green PHY” (GP) specification as a certification profile of IEEE 1901, which will provide a low-power Smart Energy/Smart Grid standard. HomePlug GP will enable the industry's only powerline solutions to meet the IP networking requirements of utility companies and appliance manufacturers.

HPA president Rob Ranck said, “Having this IEEE powerline networking standard provides a stable foundation that will help the industry to accelerate mainstream adoption for broadband networking and emerging Smart Grid applications.”

Members of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance include Cisco, Comcast, Motorola, Atheros Communications, Duke Energy and GE Energy, among others.

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