Home Networking Depot
Bonding the family dwelling through technology


HomePNA 3.1


More than half of U.S. home have access to the internet, most access the internet via dial-up voice modems. Multimillion dollar investments have been made to develop the infrastructure to support cable modems and DSL (digital subscriber line) modems to develop broadband acceptance. It is expected that by the end of 2004 more than one third of all US homes will subscribe to "always on" broadband access services to the internet.

The home networks of near future will require throughputs of up to 100Mbps with QoS (Quality of Service) mechanisms, ease of installation and maintance, low cost and most important "futureproofing."


The HomePNA standard was developed by the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance. This consortium of industry-leading companies developed the group as a non-profit association. These forward thinking companies worked together to develop and focused their effort created a single, unified phoneline networking industry standard of HomePNA. This group helped ensure a single unified standard would bring rapid deployment of a full range of interoperable home networking solutions.

  • Founded in June 1998, HomePNA is led by seven forward-thinking companies (Agere Systems, AT&T, Broadcom, Conexant, Hewlett-Packard Co., Motorola and 2Wire). Membership also includes other cutting-edge companies spanning the networking, telecommunications, hardware, software, and consumer electronics industries.
  • POTS, (plain old telephone service) signaling and ring voltages that produce significant transients.
  • AC in-home wiring couple impulse noise into the wiring.
  • Variable wire transmission parameters and types, especially at higher frequencies.
  • Reflections amd frequency-defined media transfer functions.
  • Varying termination impedances due to different telephone instruments.

With little or no certifcation testing preformed on this type of home wiring, it can be expected that the robustness and throughput would be impaired. One way to overcome the imperfections of this wiring media would be to lower the expected data rates or limit the distances. This concept has been utilized in most power line sustems, such as X-10. But with today's high data rate needs that is not accepable.


The HPNA technology concept is really quite simple: it allows the concurrent transmission of data and voice signals, using frequency division multiplexing on the same wire pair without having any two signals interfere with the other. Simply HPNA technology provides the introduction of data or telemetry signals on to existing voice or coaxial wires within the customer's premise. In this manner there is no need to rewire the dwelling, MDU or business premise because the information can be transmitted over the "existing" wires.

HPNA technology must tolerate completely random and unspecified wiring medias. It has been designed to consider the unknown and its very typical large degree of signal attenuation that will incur in the random wiring topology. As the HPNA data pulse is attenuated and bounced around the wiring it is attenuated more and reflected in many varying degrees. The HPNA technologies encounter high and varying levels of signal noise and must tolerate the dynamically changing transmission line characteristics, while coexisting with telephone service and complying with FCC Part 68. HPNA must maximize data throughput given the above.


The differences between the premise wiring of twisted -pair Ethernet media of UTP Cat 5 (and higher) and other multi-conductor technologies is the QUALITY of the media channel. Transmitting over Cat 5 cable, Ethernet runs on a channel that has a number of excellent properties. Those properties include; point to point communications, correct termination, a defined channel response (attenuation, bandwidth and nulls) and excellent crosstalk.

The "No New Wires" technologies" available for networking within homes and small businesses have the difficulties with the media channel because it is typically severely impaired.

The exisiting premise wiring topology results in:


HPNA transmit levels have designed to be fully compliant to FCC Part 68; defining "maximum signal levels on telephone lines (note: typically unshield)." This level also avoids audible noise in telephone sets caused by accidental envelope detection of the HPNA thusly severly restricting the transmit power of HPNA over the entire network



HPNA 1.0 was developed to run over existing phone line wiring in a symmetrical mode at a rate up to 1Mbps with an area of geographical coverage of no greater than a 5,000 sq ft or point to point distance no greater than 500 feet, (150 meters). HPNA 1.0 uses pulse position modulation (PPM) resulting in a 1Mbps data rate without any QoS (Quality of Service) provisions.

HomePNA 1.0 operational frequency is 4 - 10Mhz with it's center at 7.0Mhz. The lower limit of 4Mhz allows the use of filtering to reject out-of-band interferance from splitterless applications DSL and the operating HPNA on the same wiring within the home or dwelling. The upper limits of 10Mhz was defined by; a/ crosstalk between phone lines INCREASES with frequency. It has also be determined that the frequencies above 10Mhz are more likely to have wider and deeper nulls caused by wired networks reflections.


HomeCNA & HomePNA 2.0 was developed to run over existing phone line and coaxial wiring in a symmetrical mode at a peak data rate up to 32Mbps, with throughputs approaching 20Mbps. The HPNA 2.0 network uses a shared physical media (wiring) has no need for a switch or hub, unlike Ethernet that requires dedicated (homerun) UTP CAT 3 or 5 cable.

HPNA 2.0 will serve geographical coverage area of up to 10,000 sq ft or point to point distance no greater than 1,000 feet, (300 meters). HPNA 2.0 places no restructions on wiring type, wiring topology or termination. The system is designed to operate with a network point to point loss of no more than 28dB.

HomePNA operational frequency transisions

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