IEEE BPL group moves ahead on provisions

PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY - The IEEE working group devoted to developing a standard for Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) met in Las Vegas in May, where it devoted its attention to the work of its technical subgroups.

The working group is developing a new standard, IEEE P1901, "Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications." When completed, the project will present a standard for high speed (>100 Mbps at the physical layer) communication devices via alternating current electric power lines, so-called Broadband over Power Line (BPL) devices.

Technical Subgroup 2 (TSG2), which is dedicated to FFT and Wavelet MAC/PHY, presented thirteen revised chapters of the draft Standard on MAC/PHY layers and security.

Technical Subgroup 4 (TSG4), which is dedicated to coexistence, presented a draft annex describing the Inter-System Protocol (ISP) that enables various BPL devices and systems to share communication resources (frequency/time) when installed in a network with common electrical wiring. ISP will allow P1901-compliant devices and ITU-T devices to co-exist.

The protocol provides configurable frequency division for Access and time division for in-home with a granularity compatible with the Quality of Service (QoS) requirements of the most demanding audio and video applications.

The Working Group approved TSG2's revisions by an 83% majority, and unanimously approved TSG4's ISP annex.

The technical subgroups continue to hold weekly teleconferences as they further develop the first official draft of the P1901 standard. TSG2 also held a face-to-face meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.

The Working Group will next meet 21-24 July in Tokyo, Japan. For more information, contact the Working Group chair, Jean-Philippe Faure, at or visit the website at


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