IEEE P1901 Draft Standard
for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control
and Physical Layer Specifications
Report on the
meeting held in Tel Aviv, Israel, 8-10 December 2009
During the meeting in Tel Aviv, the Working Group (WG)
completed several important activities, bringing the IEEE-SA
significantly closer to the approval of P1901 as a standard.
In the 14 weeks between the end of the first letter ballot
period and the conclusion of the meeting in Tel Aviv, the
WG considered and resolved more than 3,000 comments received
on Draft 1.0. The vast majority of these comments were resolved
to the approval of the entities that made the comments,
leading to significant gains in consensus on the technical
content of the draft. The working specifications will be
updated with the last approved comment dispositions and
will be submitted for vote to become Draft 2.0. The vote
will close the first week of January 2010.
Given the significant gains in consensus approval on comment
resolution, the WG voted to publish Draft 2.0 for the public.
The draft will be made available for sale through the IEEE
A schedule for final approval was agreed by the WG. The
second letter ballot for the draft will open right after
Draft 2.0 is available. Sponsor ballot will follow and an
approved standard is expected before the end of 2010.
The New Standards Committee (NesCom) of the IEEE-SA Standards
Board approved a revision to the scope of the Project
Authorization Request (PAR) that clarifies the usability
of the P1901 standard for Smart Grid applications, for transportation
platforms (vehicle) applications, and for broadband over
power line (BPL) devices operating on DC lines.
Discussion regarding liaisons with outside entities yielded
information that there was some confusion about the Scope
of the P1901 PAR. Thus, the WG authored the following message:
"We would like to clarify that the clause: 'The
project defines a standard for high speed (>100 Mbps
at the physical layer) communications devices ' does
not prevent the standard from applying to devices with
lower or higher data rates. The sentence was meant to
make sure that the technologies being considered for the
standard were capable of at least 100Mbps.
Vendors may develop profiles of the specification that
facilitate particular applications, such as implementations
for Smart Grid, as indicated by the inclusion of 'Smart
Energy' in the list of example applications in the PAR.
The IEEE P1901 Draft Standard is based on the requirements
created by utilities, equipment manufacturers, service
providers and silicon developers. This unique collaboration
means the IEEE P1901 Draft Standard is the only power
line technology that was driven by industry requirements.
For example, the Inter System Protocol for coexistence
with other technologies is mandatory for P1901, and many
Smart Grid industry features are already designed into
the standard. P1901 is a good standard for Smart Grid
applications. We hope that this clarifies the PAR and
request that you contact us directly if there is anything
else with which we can help."
Since the October meeting in Boston, MA, the P1901 Working
Group has intensified its liaison activity with other groups:
Jean-Philippe Faure, P1901 Chair, and Oleg Logvinov,
Designated Representative for HomePlug, have been appointed
to the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) to
represent the P1901 Working group.
P1901 will share its work on the use cases and the communication
requirements for Smart Grid applications with the working
group developing P2030 "Draft Guide for Smart Grid
Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information
Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS),
and End-Use Applications and Loads." The P2030 working
group has approved a liaison with P1901.
The P1901 Transportation Sub Group Chair, Roger Vondoenhoeff,
presented the work of P1901 to the IEC TC9 "Electrical
equipment and systems for railways" group at their
November 2009 meeting. Interest for BPL/PLC for train
applications was confirmed, especially in TC9 Working
Group 46 "Multimedia on Trains" and 43 "Train
Communication Network". As a result IEC TC9 passed
a resolution authorizing a formal "Category D"
liaison with P1901. P1901 approved the IEC TC9 liaison
request in Tel Aviv.
The next Working Group meeting is scheduled for 8-12 February
2010 in Los Angeles, CA, USA (see next
June 2005 - PAR approved
November 2005 - Adoption of the general
work flow - Formation of a sub-group to develop unified
January 2006 - Approval of the use cases - Decision to split
the requirements into three clusters: In-Home, Access and
March 2006 - Approval of the down
selection process to achieve the baseline of the standard
- Approval of the description of topologies.
September 2006 - Approval of the channel and noise models.
February 2007 - Approval of 400 requirements split into
three clusters: access, in-home and coexistence - Calls
for technical proposals
June 2007 - 12 proposals received; 4 proposals per cluster
July 2007 - 11 proposals passed the low hurdle vote; 4 in-home
proposals, 4 access proposals and 3 coexistence proposals
September 2007 - Only two proposals per cluster remain for
consideration after voluntary mergers.
October 2007 - One in-home proposal and one access proposal
remain as candidates for confirmation after the first round
of elimination voting.
March 2008 - A single coexistence proposal remains as candidate
for confirmation after the last round of elimination voting.
July 2008 - The first round of confirmation voting for the
in-home, access, and coexistence proposals is held. All
three votes fail.
September 2008 - The second round of confirmation voting
for the in-home, access, and coexistence proposals is held.
The votes on the in-home and access proposals fail. The
vote on the coexistence proposal is ruled invalid because
the number of abstain votes exceeds the established percentage.
A reset vote is held for in-home and access yielding a single
proposal for confirmation in the in-home cluster, and two
proposals for the access cluster. A voluntary merger in
the access cluster is announced at the end of the meeting,
bringing the total for access to a single proposal.
November 2008 - The first round of confirmation voting for
the in-home and access proposals is held. Both votes fail.
December 2008 - The second round of confirmation voting
for the in-home, access, and coexistence clusters is held.
All three proposals are confirmed.
February 2009 - A tentative table of contents of the Draft
Standard is adopted and four Technical Subgroups are formed
to merge the confirmed proposals and develop a unified document.
July 2009 - The first Draft Standard is created. The Draft
is sent for comment and vote on whether it is ready to go
to Sponsor Ballot.
October 2009 - Development of the ITU-T G.hn Compatible
PHY/MAC Draft option is stopped. Related chapters and annexes
are removed from the Draft.
December 2009: Comment resolution on Draft 1.0 completed.
About IEEE P1901
The working group, formed in June 2005, has grown from
20 to more than 50 members. Members are corporations, government
agencies, trade associations, universities, and standards
developing organizations. Each entity has one vote.
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Standards are developed in company-based working groups
in which each member has one vote. This industry-oriented
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