Ethernet Alliance Aims to Advance PoE with Certification Program

The Ethernet Alliance has been talking about Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards for a decade and now wants to take the next step to move the technology forward.

PoE provides power over standard Ethernet cables over standard Ethernet ports. The Ethernet Alliance has been advocating for the adoption of the PoE Plus standard since May 2007. The original IEEE 802.3af-2003 provided up to 15.4 watts of power while the update PoE Plus IEEE 802.3at-2009 standard can deliver as much as 25.5 watts. Work is currently underway in the IEEE to develop the 802.3bt standard which offers the promise of up to 100 Watts.

“The impact of PoE technologies cuts across multiple markets, from enterprise IT, to network operations, to home automation, and this trend looks to continue,” stated John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance, and senior principal engineer, Huawei.

As with any technology, interoperability is always a concern and one of the primary ways of ensuring interoperability is adherence to the standards. Providing a certification that validates a given vendor is actually compliant with the 802.3 PoE specifications is what that Ethernet Alliance is now aiming to provide.

“The presence of the Ethernet Alliance logo will clearly identify products that are IEEE 802.3 standards-based and that provide the performance and interoperability assurance end users want from their PoE investments,” D’Ambrosia said.

The Ethernet Alliance is a complementary organization to the IEEE. The Ethernet Alliance itself is not a standards body, but brings together Ethernet vendors prior to standards development and after they are developed for adoption and advocacy.

The PoE certification program is set to begin in August 2017.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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