Two leading organizations in Powerline communications, the Universal Powerline Association (UPA) and the Open European Research Alliance (OPERA), announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will ensure global compliance between the specifications developed by each organization for high-speed Powerline networking and Broadband over Powerline (BPL) markets.Under the MoU, the UPA and OPERA developed an Access specification that was submitted jointly to the IEEE P1901 Powerline standards working group. Until the final standard is set, the parties will also continue to work together and with third parties to evolve the Access specification, with the UPA being the key administrator for all activities related to compatibility and coexistence. Work on developing a single international standard for Powerline technology is advancing in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI), the official worldwide standards setting bodies.
Eric Morel, President of UPA, stated that, "The time is now for Powerline organizations worldwide to forget the hype and consider the short and long term needs of customers in all markets. This Memorandum of Understanding and Access proposal is a stepping stone to harmonizing the market for Powerline technologies, products and applications and will further the development of a single standard for high-speed Powerline Communication applications."
Javier Arriola, Coordinator of the OPERA II consortium, added, "OPERA includes 26 partners from 11 different countries committed to the latest high-speed Powerline technology. One of our key targets is to catalyze and finalize the standardization process. For this reason we are delighted to be working with the UPA to deliver standardized technology and product to the market."
In 2005, UPA and OPERA signed a similar joint agreement to promote compliance between the specifications then under development by both organizations. OPERA, a market driven organization with the support of all the major players in the access BPL market developed a global specification for access BPL applications. The specification has been publicly available since 2005. OPERA recently received funding of 9.06 million euros ($12.8M) from the European Commission to support extended field deployments designed to catalyze the deployment of BPL applications including:
- Broadband Internet Access
- VoIP Telephony
- Smart Home
- Video over IP
- Video on demand
This is by far the largest investment to promote standards based Powerline deployments. OPERA is widely supported by the BPL industry.