Power Line Communication (PLC) has been around since the 1930's but was never seriously thought about as a medium for communication due to its low speed, low functionality and high cost. However, new modulation techniques and technology have enabled this medium to become a realistic and practical means of communication. During the last months some new designs have lead to integrated chips and modems that have been introduced into the market, providing high speeds over the power line at low costs. The main advantage of PLC over the other technologies is that no new cabling is required as all the cables are already there. Every building, be it offices, apartments or houses, have the network already installed. This permits a computer, or any other kind of device, with a CPE card or box to be plugged into any socket in any room and receive the signal. Therefore, no extra wires are required, neither in the house nor the utility, and the user is not restricted to just one outlet in the house, as sometimes is the case for telephone sockets. The project takes in consideration all these aspects and will adapt and integrate products, applications and services that run with IPv6 and related protocols over Power Line (at speeds of over 45 Mbps.), making the trials needed to assess the project progress, including real users.
The main goal of the project is to contribute to ensuring affordable broadband access and the deployment of IPv6 in Europe, as stated in the conclusion of the Presidency from the Barcelona European Summit.
In order to achieve this goal, the project will research the native support and deployment of IPv6, QoS and other advanced services over Power Line Communication networks, and has defined the following objectives:
-Research native IPv6/IPv4 and related protocols or advanced network services (QoS, security, multicast, mobility) support over broadband Power Line, in several platforms/devices, including the necessary standardization activities mainly, but not limited to, the IETF;
-Adaptation of several next generation applications and services required for a correct evaluation of this technology and the actual support of the advanced network services, including VoIP, multi-conferencing and audio/video streaming;
-Field Trial and Evaluation of several devices, services and network prototypes, interconnected with other major IPv6 network trials, like Euro6IX and 6NET.
In order to meet the objectives of the project, the following work packages have been defined:
WP1: Coordination, Interconnection & Dissemination;
WP2: Integration of IPv6 Advanced Services over PL;
WP3: Network Architecture Design and Implementation;
WP4: PLC Devices;
WP5: Next Generation Applications;
WP6: Trials and Evaluation.
WP1 offers to the rest of Work Packages both, administrative and technical management skills. This WP is also responsible for the dissemination and exploitation of the results, and the coordination/liaison with other related networks and projects.
The following paragraphs will explain how these objectives are being addressed in the 6Power project. The success of the 6Power project will be measured against the achievement level of:
Good management of project activities to meet the milestones according to agreed plans, on top of the rest of the activities, including the dissemination and awareness of the project results (WP1);
Integration of IPv6 protocols and advanced services over Power Line Communications Technologies, and the related standardization activities (WP2);
Design, Procurement and Deployment of 6Power networks and the interconnection with major IPv6 test beds, based on other technologies, according to defined specifications (WP3);
Development of the software and hardware for the devices to be integrated with IPv6 and PLC (WP4);
Adaptation and/or integration of several next generation applications, mainly related to audio and video, to be used over the PLC/IPv6 implemented network (WP5);
Trial and evaluation activities, involving users, in order to use the network, advanced services and applications (WP6).
- Design of specific protocols to support IPv6 and QoS over Power Line;
- Adaptation of different devices (routers, set-top-boxes, home automation) to support IPv6 over Power Line;
- Adaptation/Integration of different applications to run on this network, including voice over IP, music server and video streaming;
- Testing of the project results with real users.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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