Power outlets may provide a standard for home networking

June 28, 2001 A consortium of about 90 high-profile technology companies will announce that the group has finalized a new standard that will serve as a common way for connecting electronic devices to the Net through electrical outlets.

June 28, 2001 A consortium of about 90 high-profile technology companies will announce that the group has finalized a new standard that will serve as a common way for connecting electronic devices to the Net through electrical outlets. This consortium, named the HomePlug Powerline Alliance (www.homeplug.com), has spent the past year working on a standard for using homes' internal electrical network to link electronic devices.

The alliance is the latest effort to create standards for home networking, an emerging market that allows people to connect their electronic devices together, so people can share Internet access, play video games, and enjoy music throughout the house.

The new HomePlug standard will be marketed with data transfer rates of 14 Mbits/sec. But analyst Michael Wolf, of market research firm Cahners In-Stat Group (www.instat.com), said data transfer rates will be closer to 8 Mbits/sec on average.

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