New broadband wiring tech gets a push

An industry group finalizes its own technology standard and begins certifying products.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
2 min read
An industry group promoting the use of existing wiring for cable TV service to deliver high-speed broadband throughout the home has finalized a specification that determines how the technology should be implemented. Several companies have tested the specification to ensure interoperability.

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) plans to announce Tuesday that it has ratified the MoCA MAC/PHY v1.0 standard, which includes a full specification in addition to the certification test plan and procedures for companies wanting to use the specification.

Several companies, including Actiontec, Entropic, Linksys, Mototech, Motorola, Panasonic, 2Wire and Westell, have been awarded MoCA certification. MoCA's certification board in February tested these companies' products at Verizon Labs in Waltham, Mass. The next certification wave is scheduled for sometime in April.

The MoCA stamp of approval means companies can use the MoCA logo and claim standards compliance on their products.

Several industry groups have formed to push their flavor of technology for distributing broadband and video throughout the home. MoCA is just one group that promotes the use of coaxial cable installed for cable TV. HomePNA, formerly the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance, also promotes the use of existing coaxial cable, as well as copper phone lines, to carry data through the home.

Several companies have begun manufacturing products that use MoCA technology. Motorola is selling set-top boxes with MoCA embedded. And Verizon Communications has said it plans to use MoCA technology to help lower the cost of its Fios deployments.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance advocates using electrical wiring to carry Ethernet signals, turning every electrical outlet into a network jack. Several companies, including Linksys, Netgear and Siemens, have already certified several of their products with HomePlug.

The new 802.11n group within Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, which is developing a new, faster Wi-Fi standard, is close to making its specifications a standard. Companies such as Intel, Broadcom and Airgo are involved in the open standards process.