Power to the People – Delivering on the Promise of PoE

By Ethernet Alliance

The Ethernet community never stops innovating. We’re always pushing the boundaries, finding new ways of advancing this important technology that has become the cornerstone of today’s high-speed networks. As we embark on the next Ethernet era, the industry is hard at work on an array of innovations that will drive Ethernet to higher speeds, and into more applications and markets. Ultimately, this work will benefit end users at every level, from the data center, to the enterprise, to consumers looking to take advantage of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive products and services.

One of the important innovations gaining traction in the marketplace is Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE reduces network installation complexities and cost, and improves energy management by enabling delivery of power over existing Ethernet cables for IP network devices like Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, cameras, lighting, and wireless access points.

We see a wide mix of proprietary, quasi-standard, and IEEE 802.3™ standards-based PoE products popping up. While having a variety of PoE solutions to choose from is a good thing, it can also lead to some head-scratching moments of confusion – how do you pick from an abundance of PoE products and still rest assured that you’re getting the plug-and-play interoperability and reliability that is Ethernet’s hallmark?

As PoE’s many benefits continue to attract ever-greater numbers of end users, there’s an inherent need to minimize confusion over the growing diversity of products and solutions. Products based on IEEE 802.3 PoE specifications bring with them predictable power delivery, proven interoperability, and increased network safety. But, figuring out whether your PoE solution of choice meets those standards can be a tricky business. And that’s where the Ethernet Alliance comes in.

The Ethernet Alliance just launched a new PoE certification program that will enable end users to identify at a glance those products designed to released IEEE 802.3 PoE standards. As part of this new initiative, Ethernet manufacturers and vendors can submit their equipment for verification testing against the Ethernet Alliance’s PoE certification specification, which conforms to current IEEE 802.3 PoE standards. After successfully completing testing, products will be designated as PoE certified and allowed to use the program’s certified logo. They’ll also be added to a searchable public registry of EA PoE-Certified products.

By empowering them to quickly and easily find products certified against IEEE 802.3 PoE standards, we’re reducing confusion and improving the overall experience for end users. And it’s a win-win situation for the industry too – this program opens the door to new business opportunities between powered device (PD) manufacturers and power sourcing equipment (PSE) vendors, while simultaneously helping to increase end user trust in PoE and Ethernet.

What it comes down to is this – it doesn’t matter if you’re talking wired or wireless, everything still needs power. PoE holds the promise of being able to meet that need with minimum hassle, but maintaining interoperability and robust Ethernet performance is a must. The Ethernet Alliance PoE certification program delivers on the promise of PoE by taking the guesswork out of the equation and getting power to the right people at the right place at the right time.

There’s lots more to learn about the Ethernet Alliance PoE certification program, so come check it out now.