Smart grid communications: BPL spec gets the go-ahead


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: With all the noise about wireless communications such as RF mesh and cellular, it is easy to forget that powerline communications (PLC) is still the preferred method in many parts of the world. Indeed, the PLC market is growing by a robust 19% per year, according to new research from MarketsandMarkets.


Meanwhile, the upper end of the powerline family - broadband over powerline (BPL) - has just received a stamp of approval from the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). The group just voted to include IEEE's BPL spec in its "Catalog of Standards." - By Jesse Berst


The new standard, IEEE Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications (IEEE 1901â„¢) includes standards and practices the SGIP "considers to be relevant for the development and deployment of a robust, interoperable and secure smart grid."


Bill Ash, strategic program manager with the IEEE Standards Association, said "Having the SGIP approve the inclusion of our standard in its catalog underscores the importance of smart grid expansion and advancement worldwide. We understand that collaboration among multiple organizations is paramount to the smart grid's success."


The IEEE 1901 standard was created for high-speed communication devices using electric power lines (also known as broadband over powerline). The standard provides data rates above 500 Mbps in LAN applications and is used with transmission frequencies below 100 MHz.


Click the link below for more information on IEEE 1901.


Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.


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