Thursday, July 03, 2008

More on the enemy - it's the Universal Powerline Assn

Here's what we are up against. Thanks to Wikipedia (boldface mine):

The BT Vision Box is a rebranded Philips DIT9719 operating Microsoft Mediaroom software, and requires the BT Home Hub and BT Broadband internet. That said, a number of customers are using alternatives to the BT Home Hub without problems[citation needed].

The set-top box is connected to the hub via an ethernet cable either connected directly to the BT Home Hub, or to one of a pair of Comtrend UPA (Universal Powerline Association) compliant Ethernet adapters. The Comtrend UPA adaptors use the mains wiring in a house to create an ethernet network. A second adaptor is plugged into the mains and connected to the BT Home Hub via an ethernet cable. These plugs are provided as part of the BT Vision package. Additional Comtrend adaptors are available from BT so that a local area network can be created in the users home.

Anyone who thinks this trend is peculiar to the UK has not been following developments in this technology. Hundreds of thousands of these adapters are being deployed all over Europe.

From Eurocom:

15 October, 2007 13:59

Comtrend delivers 590,000 PLC solutions for Europe in 2007

Comtrend Corporation, a network solutions manufacturer and broadband, VoIP and data networks technologies specialist, has announced the delivery of 590,000 200-Mbps PLC Ethernet adapters, the PowerGrid DH-10PF, by the end of 2007. The solutions will be supplied to the English, Spanish and Portuguese markets respectively, making Comtrend the first international manufacturer capable of delivering such a high volume of PLC Ethernet adapters.

[Similar problems are reported by radio users in Spain and Portugal. -hugh]

In 2006, Comtrend Corporation also opened an office in Central Europe and confirmed its development in several countries within Northern Europe.

Developed in partnership with DS2, a PLC solutions specialist, Comtrend's PowerGrid DH-10PF establishes broadband home networks for sharing data, sound and high-definition TV content. In compliance with the 200-Mbps PLC standard supported by the UPA (Universal Powerline Association), to which Comtrend and DS2 belong, the DS2 PLC technology built into the PowerGrid DH-10PF helps to provide a solution cutting out dead spots, while delivering the speed and quality of service required for distributing video throughout the home.

Here's more on the UPA, which is the enemy:

• Universal Powerline Association (UPA)
– The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) is an International association working to harmonize global standards and regulations in the fast developing power line communications market. Power Line Communications (PLC) is a technology that utilizes existing electrical distribution lines, whether in-building or out in the
utility’s distribution system, for delivering high-speed communications services

• Wide Alliance of Industry Support
– Predominantly used in Europe and South America
– Single source vendor today (DS2)
– Alliance consist of silicon manufacture, system operators and system integrators

• Field Proven Home Networking Technology
– Over one million PLC chips shipped
– Selected by Belgacom, British Telecom, Telecom Italia & Telefonica as the main home networking technology

Here is the FAQ on the UPA's own site. It makes the magnitude of the struggle facing us only too stark.

It should be obvious to everyone that this technology is starting to deploy worldwide. While we worried about power companies putting RF into their lines, we missed telephone companies putting it into home wiring. We have catching up to do. It is best that we do it, or there will be no more HF.