OPERA (the Open PLC European Research Alliance) will publicly release a specification for powerline communications by the end of the year. The new specification covers the PHY, MAC and equipment of broadband PLC systems, making it the only open PLC standard that ensures full interoperability for PLC broadband access and inbuilding distribution systems without recourse to proprietary technologies.

To achieve this objective a specification working group was created, co-chaired by Laurent Feltin of EDF and Victor Dominguez of DS2, and made up of members from the main European utilities and the PLC industry. An “OPERA Contribution to ETSI” indicating the main aspects of the technology was submitted to ETSI, the European standardisation body, last month. The Position Paper is available from the OPERA web site. The final document is in an advanced stage of development, and OPERA’s steering and technical committee is actively cooperating with the Universal Powerline Association to ensure that the standard fulfils the requirements of all international markets, and to promote it worldwide.