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HD Coax Gets Fast, Phone Lines & Wi-Fi Get Faster

SOURCE: Broadband
Posted on 03/29/2006

Your home's coax wiring can now carry data at up to 270 megabits per second, or at least, that's what Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) claims. And the group has certified products from eight vendors that prove it: Actiontec, Entropic, Linksys, Mototech, Motorola, Panasonic, 2Wire and Westell.
Faster Networking For Homes & Small Offices

Max Speed





AC Wiring

HomePlug 1.0

HomePlug Powerline Alliance


Phone lines


The HomePNA Alliance



MAC/PHY v1.0

Multimedia over Coax Alliance



PHY V1.27

Enhanced Wireless Consortium

While the new coax-only speed exceeds the current throughput available via household power lines (200Mbs) and phone lines (240Mbs), it's slower than the HomePNA Alliance's upcoming spec for both phone lines and coax (320Mbs). And it's way behind the new wireless standard, 802.11n, of 600Mbs.

Before you get too excited, deduct about 100Mbs from the quoted speeds. That's the usual difference between the physical-layer speed across the wires and actual transfer rate for data.

Hardened network managers who are aghast at the relatively slow speeds should remember that all of these standards are designed to push high-definition data across oxidized wire that was patched together in 1967 by a jack-jockey nursing a hangover.

On the other side, newbies who think they can use these specs as the basis for bombing data across town need to sober up. They're all designed for short runs.

The question is, as always, which is best? Each of them works fine, in the right environment. In fact, individual vendors, like Linksys and 2Wire, have adopted most, if not all of the technologies.

Depends on which method best matches your equipment, wiring and wallet.