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IEEE making strides in home networking standards

By Donna Donnawitz
December 23, 2011
As consumer networks become more complex, a growing number of users are streaming video, accessing data-rich applications and performing other high-performance tasks at home. This is leading to a revolution in FTTH deployments, home-based network equipment and other solutions that offer high bandwidth and data throughput levels for consumers. In response, the IEEE is working on a Hybrid Networking 1905.1 standard, CED Magazine reported.

The new 1905.1 working group is attempting to develop a holistic solution capable of connecting the popular technologies used in the home now and making room for interoperability with future networking systems, the report said. This involves finding a way to get the IEEE P1901 standard for HomePlug to work with IEEE 802.3 for Ethernet, IEEE MoCA 1.1 and IEEE 802.11 for Wi-Fi. If these systems can all be aligned for compatibility, it could significantly simplify home network deployments and make investments in high-performance infrastructure less expensive.

The working group's goal is to go beyond supporting the current standards and create a set of best practices and technological guidelines that leave room for future innovation as well, according to the news source.

Citing the 190.1 working group's materials on the standard, the news source explains that the new standard, which is progressing well and recently reached draft state, is designed to create an abstraction layer for the network. This then works with a dynamic interface selection system which is able to support incoming data packets from the upper protocol layers of the network or the foundational underlying systems.

Adding this dynamic interface selection system allows the network to handle a variety of traffic formats and apply similar routing and principles to the data packets, according to the IEEE. This allows the home network to optimize bandwidth usage and support high-performance tasks more efficiently. One of the management principles allowed in this new standard is quality of service.

QoS is rapidly emerging as an essential network management tool in corporate and data center environments, not to mention its potential in home networks. The routing technology allows organizations to prioritize data packets based on their content or format. This prevents network bottlenecks, allows critical information to be sent throughout the network without disruption and prevents extraneous content from clogging the network and disrupting performance for other users. QoS also helps overcome issues with dropped data packets.

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