<communications, networking, protocol, standard> (HomePNA) A non-profit association of more than 100 technology companies working together to ensure adoption of a phone line networking standard which should provide high-speed, affordable home networking.
The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) was founded in June 1998 by 3Com, AMD, AT&T Wireless Services, Compaq, Conexant, Epigram, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, and Tut Systems. The membership now spans the networking, telecommunications, hardware, software, and consumer electronics industries.
The alliance was originally formed because of the increasing demand for home networking caused by the growing number of homes with multiple PCs (and other devices) to connect together to provide facilities such as shared Internet access, networked gaming, and sharing of peripherals, files and applications.
The member companies aimed to develop open standards to ensure compatibility between different manufacturers' products. They also decided that this should be done using the phone wiring that already existed in people's homes. The concept of "no new wires" networking meant installation was simpler.
HomePNA's original specifications could be used to create a 1 Mbps (megabits per second) Ethernet-compatible LAN with no hubs, routers, splitters or terminations. Adapters would allow any computer (or other device) with an Ethernet port to be linked to the home network. Up to 25 PCs, peripherals and network devices can be connected to such a network.
On 1999-12-01, the HomePNA announced a new release of its networking technology specification, called Home PNA 2.0. Like the first specification, it uses existing phone lines, but it can operate at speeds up to 10 Mbps. The new version is backwardly compatible with the original 1 Mbps HomePNA technology, and is designed to provide faster networks suitable for future voice, video and data applications.