HomePlug AV is near--but so are three other standards: Frustrating, isn't it, that just when you hear the news that the electrical networking standard HomePlug is about to be revised from version 1.0 to AV (11 Mbps to 200 Mbps!) that three other standards could split the marketplace and thus doom it in the same way that the excellent HomeRF standard sunk beneath the waters by failing to reach the market fast enough with speedy bandwidth.
PC World reports that HomePlug AV will be ratified in June and be built into settop boxes and other devices. With a raw 200 Mbps design, it should deliver at least 100 Mbps of actual net throughput, enough to stream multiple video signals across your home's wiring. It's also designed to work with Broadband over Powerline (BPL) equipment, although I'm finding that increasingly unlikely to be deployed in the U.S. based on power utility statements. (Anti-municipal telecom/broadband bills would make it impossible for private utilities to deploy BPL, too.)
The United Powerline Association unfortunately has a competing spec that won't interoperate. And then HomePlug has a low-power control protocol they're working on as does Z-Wave.
The article unfortunately quotes the New Millennium Research Council, a group that I have written about extensively here because of their parent company, Issue Dynamics, which is a PR firm that represents incumbent telco and cable operators. The NRMC is oddly 100-percent behind BPL, and if you look at Issue Dynamics's client list, you find that Edison Electric Institute and Virginia Power are represented in their client list; Pacific Gas & Electric was a former client.
So keep your scorecard straight: utilities offering broadband is a bad idea when they are owned by municipalities, but an entirely good idea when private companies own the utilities. And allowing municipal utilities to allow private companies to offer broadband over their electrical lines would be bad, too.