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COMPUTING

Home networking group picks next phoneline spec

July 29, 1999
Web posted at: 9:02 a.m. EDT (1302 GMT)

by Nancy Weil

From...
IDG.net

(IDG) -- The Home Phone Networking Alliance on Tuesday announced proposed technology for a 10Mbps specification that it said is the first step toward developing second-generation home phoneline technology.

The announcement from the alliance, which calls itself HomePNA, was accompanied by a flurry of supporting announcements from companies that intend to support the proposed specification. HomePNA released a 1Mbps specification last year, and the proposed technology is expected to further the earlier work, allowing more consumers and small-business users to hook computers, peripherals and other devices to each other and the Internet, while maintaining standard phone service.

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Phoneline home networking uses existing telephone wires to connect computers and peripherals to each other. It is one of several means used to create a home network -- a hot technology trend as more homes include multiple PCs and users who want to be online at the same time and also have the ability to share files, printers and other peripherals.

The basis of the 10Mbps specification, labeled 2.0 by the alliance, comes from a proposal from Epigram, a subsidiary of Broadcom, and Lucent Technologies Microelectronics Group. When it is finished in the second half of this year, the specification is expected to deliver data rates of 10Mbps for home phoneline networking and also to be backward-compatible and interoperate with existing HomePNA 1Mbps technology.

3Com, Conexant Systems, Broadcom and Lucent all released written statements supporting the new proposed specification and said they intend to release products based on the technology by the end of the year -- in time for the holiday buying season.

Those companies belong to the alliance, which is a nonprofit association comprising 97 companies.


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