Cable Tech

Broadband Forum Gives Nod to G.hn

The HomeGrid Forum has found an important backer today in the Broadband Forum , a global consortium that could supply potential customers for G.hn, the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) 's newly approved wired home networking standard. (See Home-Networking Showdown Emerges.)

The Broadband Forum is offering its support because its members realize they need help not only to deliver broadband access to the home, but also to distribute it -- along with multimedia content -- throughout the home, says Michael Weissman, a HomeGrid Forum member and vice president of corporate marketing at Sigma Designs Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM).

"They are working with us to promote the technology and work on the compliance and interoperability part to ensure that the experience is up to par with the promise," Weissman says.

The Broadband Forum counts 200 telcos, network equipment manufacturers, and software companies in its membership base, a roster that the HomeGrid Forum would like to take advantage of. More so than the moral support, Weissman says that the Broadband Forum is where the customers live. When it makes a decision, the industry follows. HomeGrid is hoping this will also be the case with G.hn.

But, G.hn isn't the only standard on the block, and it's coming into focus as the competitive home-networking battleground continues to heat up. Just days after G.hn got its blessing, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) announced that its next-gen home-networking option, MoCA 2.0, has been ratified, promising a 400-Mbit/s Basic mode and an 800-Mbit/s Enhanced mode in the home. (See MoCA Is Go for 2.0.)

MoCA is already in use by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and many cable companies, while G.hn is set to become the standard of choice for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and several other telcos. Matt Keowen, co-chair of HomeGrid Forum and senior director of corporate marketing at Ikanos Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IKAN), says that a wired option is needed to complement wireless technology in the home, but the two competing standards haven't made any moves to complement one another.

The Forums say to expect G.hn silicon to come to market later this year from chipmakers, and systems from supporting service providers to be introduced in early 2011.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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