Updated- The HomePlug Alliance said powerline speeds will be going up again.
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance today announced the availability of the HomePlug AV2 specification. The new spec supports supports Gigabit link (PHY) rates and is supposed to provide "600Mbs+ at the MAC layer".
The get the extra speed, AV2 uses a combination of more bandwidth, more efficient MAC layer, an "order of magnitude" of more frequency spectrum and MIMO techniques (as 802.11n and 802.11ac use). AV2 devices are said to be "interoperable" with HomePlug AV and HomePlug Green PHY devices and support IEEE 1901.
Today's announcement did not mention a timeline for AV2 products. However, the Alliance has previously said to expect products in the first half of 2012. But that was with a projected spec completion of Q3 2011.
UpdateA HomePlug Alliance spokesperson just told me that the updated timeframe for AV2 products is 2013.
The Alliance also gave props to the IEEE 1905.1 Working Group for approving the Hybrid Networking draft standard. 1905.1 is intended to spec how IEEE 1901 / HomePlug, Wi-Fi, MoCA and Ethernet devices work together.
1905.1 spells out a common interface that enables applications and upper layer protocols to not care about underlying home networking technologies. This will allow QoS priorities to be observed and provide mechanisms for adding devices, securing links and network management.