Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A patchwork home

Headed down to the HomePlug annual convention today, here are my views about home networking:

The Multimedia Over Coax crowd has a line into the cable TV providers who will likely start specifying their technology in next-gen set-top boxes soon. (Expect to hear more on this from the MoCA convention in November.) The IPTV folks such as AT&T are already specifying Hone Phoneline (HPNA) because it's mature and uses the familiar media and technology they became accustomed to in the early days of DSL routers. The powerline folks are getting some traction in retail because the Linksys and NetGears of the world have been shipping easy to use, low cost products, but those same folk have been spawning an even bigger surge in home Wi-Fi which rules the roost in home networking today and likely will well into the future.

These dynamics are setting us up for a lot of contention between different technologies. The biggest dispute on the home front will be between carrier-approved secure and nets with solid media delivery like MoCA and HPNA and the renegade Wi-Fi. It will take years to see how all this plays out, and it won't be pretty.

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