For me, one of the more interesting sessions at the recent IETF 81 meeting in July was the first meeting of the recently established Homenet Working Group.
What’s so interesting about networking the home?
Well, if you regard challenges as “interesting”, then just about everything is interesting when you look at networking in the home!
It’s been a very long time since the state-of-the-art in home Internet was plugging the serial port of the PC into the dialup modem. Even the ADSL modem, even when combined with some for of WiFi base station, is looking distinctly passé these days. Today the home network is seeing the intersection of a whole set of interests, including the phone service, the TV service, home security services, energy management, utility service metering, possibly other forms of home device monitoring, and, oh yes, connecting the laptops and the mobile devices to the net. And of course it’s not just a home LAN over a wired network. WiFi home networks are commonplace, and of course there are various Bluetooth devices. Maybe sometime soon it will be common for the home network to also host some form of 3G femtocell as well. But these days even that level of network complexity is not enough.