Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA) definition

Contributor(s): Marco Cunha

The HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance) is an industry group that promotes standards for using existing phone lines and jacks to interconnect computers within a home. The HPNA's HomePNA standard is one of several leading technologies for home network.

HPNA's approach is one of several competing home networking approaches. Others include Ethernet, the powerline protocol, or the Bluetooth standard. Ethernet is a widely-used standard for a local area nework (LAN) that requires each computer to be equipped with an interface card and the installation of thicker cabling. Powerline is a slower data transmission method that uses the home's electrical wiring. Bluetooth uses wireless technology to transmit data between devices within a 30-foot range. In addition to HomePNA, there are other proprietary approaches to home networks using existing phone lines.

The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance is a consortium with over 100 members, including 3Com, AT&T Wireless, IBM, Intel, Compaq, Lucent Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard.

This was first published in September 2005

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