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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who needs PE Sockets?

The PE Sockets are suitable for home users and businesses of all sizes and in all sectors.

In the consumer market, with families owning so many Ethernet enabled devices, such as PCs, set-top boxes, game consoles, Blu-ray players and even the latest TVs, the PE Sockets provide a high speed Internet access available throughout the home that connects all these devices in a simple and fast way.

Within the business sector, the PE Socket is ideal for situations where running additional data cabling to connect devices is impossible or impractical but also, by removing the purchase and installation costs of data cabling, offers a cost-effective approach to creating business networks. It can be used to both extend existing Ethernet networks, to accommodate new devices, or as a complete backbone network and can be installed by an electrician without specialist data cabling knowledge.

A number of possible applications for PE Sockets can be found at www.powerethernet.com/applications.html

Will the PE Socket match the finish of other sockets in the house?

The PE Socket design incorporates a choice of fascias available in a range of finishes that will make the product blends into the home.   We are talking to a number of potential partners from socket manufacturers and built-in desk systems about integrating our technology into their products.

Power Ethernet is very aware of the importance of ensuring the plastic quality and consistency of colour.

Is Powerline a supported IEEE standard?

The HomePlug Alliance and the manufactures including Qualcom- Atheros have been working since 2005 on getting Powerline technology approved as an IEEE standard.  The IEEE1901 Standard was ratified in September 2010.  Further information can be found at www.homeplug.org/tech/ieee_1901

What certification is in place to ensure you are able to sell and install in new and existing homes?

In the United Kingdom, the Building Regulations require that domestic electrical installations are designed and installed safely according to BS7671.  These are very similar to the principles defined in the international standard IEC60364 used within the EU.

Within the UK and Europe, we require the CE mark to indicate that the product is compliant with the EU safety legislation.

Across the world there are many standards agencies that work together to have similar coverage for most companies.  From the information we have about these standards bodies, they mostly align with the IECEE (International Electrotechnical Commission Electrical Equipment) in some way for the standards of testing and certification.  More importantly the IECEE can be used to certify not only end product but also manufacturing process to get a good standard in the final product for each country involved.

What is the limit in terms of total number of units and the available bandwidth?

The total number of PE Sockets within a single network is 64 units with the bandwidth divided amongst units (i.e. one collision domain like a hub).

The bandwidth is shared amongst all the units and is currently 200Mbps (gross).

How is the bandwidth used up?

The total gross bandwidth for a HomePlug 200AV compatible chipset is 200Mbps but that actual available bandwidth will be less because of network overhead.  The available bandwidth is shared amongst the Powerline devices.  The transmitted and received data comes out of the bandwidth allocation.

I tried Powerline a long time ago and the network speed was very slow because of the interference generated by household appliances. Why should the Power Ethernet Socket be any better?

The concept of running a network over the mains power cables within the building has been around for over 25 years.  Early versions of the Powerline adapters were limited to a slow network speed and did not handle the electrical interference very well.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance (whose standards we support) has over 70 members with more than 200 different products already received the HomePlug certification.  Alliance members include Cisco, Motorola, Broadcom, D-Link Systems and many others.

In the last 6 years, network speeds have increased dramatically and each successive chip is better at handling any interference on the mains cable.

The Powerline chip used in the Power Ethernet Socket is designed and manufactured by Qualcomm-Atheros (who used to be known as Intellon) and they pride themselves in not only being at the front of the Powerline ratification process (IEEE1901) but are also confident that they will increase the network bandwidth from 200Mbps to 500Mbps and to 1Gbps in late 2012.

The Power Ethernet Socket has an embedded 4 port managed switch which provides Quality of Service and other advanced networking functionality to make the most of the available network bandwidth.

Is Power Ethernet network good solution for business?

Powerline as a standard has been specifically designed for home use (hence the name HomePlug Alliance) but it is an excellent solution for addressing a num