Home networking tech war heats up

The TelcoTV 2009 conference and expo in Orlando next week should prove to be a timely and fitting showcase for home networking technologies, such as HomePNA (HPNA), Multimedia over Coax (MoCA), HomePlug A/V, and of course, G.hn, the much-debated, evolving home network standard from the International Telecommunications Union. The event comes not long after the G.hn physical layer was formally approved, but also just as pro-G.hn and anti-G.hn forces have begun amping up their technology war of words.

The anti-G.hn forces consist primarily of MoCA and HomePlug backers who discount G.hn's viability because it is not backward-compatible to those technologies. (Their arguments against G.hn go into greater detail than that, though one can assume backward compatibility would greatly mitigate their opposition). Service provider backers of MoCA include Verizon Communications and the largest cable TV firms.

The pro-G.hn forces, many of whom are members of the HomeGrid Forum, largely have been HPNA supporters, though many of the vendors that back G.hn, like CopperGate, also have supported other home network technologies. AT&T, Telus and BT have backed and used HPNA in the past.

Service providers so far mostly have demurred from publicly advocating or attacking G.hn, though Light Reading has a story talking about one MoCA-supporting service provider who is concerned about future pricing of G.hn gear. Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf also suggests in the story that G.hn is no slam dunk.

FierceIPTV is currently gathering information for its own special report on the home networking technology war and the future of G.hn. If you have any facts, tips or opinions you think might be useful, please let us know.

For more:
- Light reading has this story

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ITU-T recently approved the G.hn PHY spec
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