Chair Report on the Ethernet Alliance Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Subcommittee
By David Tremblay
The Ethernet Alliance Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Subcommittee contains a diverse group of members focusing on PoE education, adoption and interoperability.
With our members’ support, the Ethernet Alliance has released the first globally recognized EA Certified PoE program including, a publicly accessible certified product registry and list of all approved test equipment, easily recognizable trademarked logos and convenient first- or third-party testing.
The Ethernet Alliance launched the program in 2017. It relies on test plans developed by many of the same individuals who helped write the IEEE 802.3 PoE standards. Gen 1 certification testing is based on IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at; Gen 2, on IEEE 802.3bt.
The EA Certified PoE program has received two awards since inception, the IEEE-SA Conformity Assessment Award and the Cabling Installation & Maintenance Platinum Innovators Award highlighting the innovation and benefits this program offers to the PoE community. And, yet, the Ethernet Alliance continues to hone the program to make it more valuable and accessible to industry participants. For example, manufacturers of PoE devices can now pursue either Gen 1 or Gen 2 certification through labs in either Asia or North America, given the July 19, 2022, announcement of Gen 2 testing availability in Taipei, Taiwan, with UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science.
ENCOURAGING MARKET GROWTH
The world is experiencing tremendous growth in the number and variety of PoE-powered devices, such as Internet Protocol (IP) phones, security cameras, wireless access points, speakers, LED lighting, biometric readers, doorbells/entry systems, electricity/gas meters, point-of-sale (PoS) systems, swipe card readers and temperature sensors. Dell’Oro Group’s “4Q 2021 Ethernet Switch – Campus Report” noted that PoE ports posted strong, double-digit growth and accounted for 30 percent of total ports in 2021.
With so many new PoE devices coming to market and the adoption rate on the rise, the Ethernet Alliance PoE Subcommittee remains committed to the five core EA Certified program benefits:
- Reducing installation time
- Enhancing customer support at lower cost
- Improving end-customer perception of PoE (thereby increasing adoption)
- Cutting overall evaluation costs
- Alleviating additional development costs
In these ways, the EA Certified program fuels growth of the global PoE market. Without the trustworthy certification resource, on the other hand, end users would have less assurance that the PoE products they might deploy are safe and would function and interoperate as advertised.
CALL TO ACTION
It has been my pleasure to chair the Ethernet Alliance PoE Certification program since its launch and to work with such a talented group of PoE technology company representatives. It’s especially satisfying to work together to overcome the real-world issues and marketplace confusion that can arise from multi-vendor deployments and non-standard PoE implementations.
PoE Subcommittee members meet monthly to discuss new educational, thought-leadership and market-outreach opportunities, as well as emerging technology growth areas. Outreach efforts are currently underway to share the benefits of PoE certification with the greater ecosystem and identify the latest market trends.
Now is the perfect opportunity to connect with our members and help shape the group’s involvement in the PoE ecosystem. Feel free to contact the Ethernet Alliance PoE Subcommittee chair, David Tremblay, to get involved or if you have any questions.