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IEEE P1901

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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 store.

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 meetings).

Jean-Philippe Faure
IEEE P1901 Chair

Reports on previous meetings:

Press release--Tel Aviv, Israel, 8-10 December 2010

Boston, MA, USA, 13-16 October 2009

Press release--Boston, MA, USA, 13-16 October 2009

Tokyo, Japan, 21-24 July 2009
Press release--Tokyo, Japan, 21-24 July 2009

Las Vegas, NV, USA, 18-22 May 2009
Press release--Las Vegas, NV--18 June 2009

Miami, FL, USA 3-6 Feb 2009 and Dresden, Germany, 24-27 March 2009
Press release--Dresden, Germany--14 May 2009

Kyoto, Japan, 16-19 December 2008
Press release--Kyoto, Japan--7 January 2009

San Francisco, CA, USA, 4-6 November 2008

Madrid, Spain, 29 September-2 October 2008

Miami, FL, USA, 8-10 July 2008

Fukuoka, Japan, 5-6 March 2008

San Diego, CA, USA, 11 December 2007

Boston, MA, USA, 15-18 October 2007

IEEE P1901 milestones

June 2005 - PAR approved
November 2005 - Adoption of the general work flow - Formation of a sub-group to develop unified requirements
January 2006 - Approval of the use cases - Decision to split the requirements into three clusters: In-Home, Access and Coexistence/Interoperability
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 of requirements
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 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.

About The IEEE-SA Corporate Standards Program

The IEEE-SA Corporate Standards Program allows entities to create standards within an ANSI-accredited, open process. Standards are developed in company-based working groups in which each member has one vote. This industry-oriented program allows for standards creation in as little as one to two years, depending on participant commitment and funding for IEEE services that can optimize all phases of the standards development process.

Copyright ©2009 IEEE-SA
(mailto: P1901 Project Manager)