Ethernet Alliance

About Us > FAQs

FAQs

What is the Ethernet Alliance and its mission?

The Ethernet Alliance is a global consortium of system and component vendors, industry experts, and university and government professionals who are committed to the success and expansion of Ethernet technology.

The mission of the Ethernet Alliance is to support activities from Ethernet technology incubation to interoperability demonstrations, and education.

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Why does Ethernet need promotion?

Ethernet, as a technology, continues to branch into new market spaces. Many of the end users in those markets have limited Ethernet experience and knowledge. Providing a central repository for information on Ethernet technology enables a consistent industry voice and presence.

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What are the goals of the Ethernet Alliance?

The Ethernet Alliances serves as an industry resource for developers, vendors and end users – from the operators of sophisticated carrier and business networks to the consumer in the home.

The Ethernet Alliance assists companies in reducing time to market and increase market acceptance of Ethernet products, helps foster collaboration among Ethernet and complementary technologies, and supports the continued growth and expansion of Ethernet technologies.

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What is addressed by the Ethernet Alliance?

  • The Ethernet Alliance focuses on accelerating industry adoption and removing barriers to market entry by providing a cohesive, market responsive, industry voice on standards-based Ethernet projects.
  • The Ethernet Alliance provides resources to establish and demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability of standards-based Ethernet products and their management.
  • The Ethernet Alliance helps support the deployment of Ethernet technologies into new markets not traditionally served by Ethernet.

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In what types of activities does the Ethernet Alliance engage?

  • Sponsor Ethernet technology multi-vendor plug-fests
  • Demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability at industry trade shows and technology conferences
  • Publicly offer Ethernet technology collateral
  • Educate about Ethernet technologies via a variety of venues
  • Establish committees to help explore new Ethernet efforts

For more information on upcoming events, please visit the Ethernet Alliance Events page.

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How does the Ethernet Alliance help to provide a cohesive industry voice?

By providing clear explanations of Ethernet projects, developing broad participation amongst member companies, coordinating efforts among Ethernet technologies, and positioning Ethernet’s co-existence with complementary technologies.

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What are some of the ways the Ethernet Alliance fosters adoption?

Provide practical, achievable near term benefits, useful in end user networks, systems or components. Promoting and marketing Ethernet technologies to smooth the barriers to adoption of new Ethernet technologies and demonstrate technical viability and interoperability of these new technologies.

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How does the Ethernet Alliance encourage Ethernet expansion for the creation and support of standards-based Ethernet efforts?

  • By incubating and cultivating new ideas and markets for the development of collateral and the creation of Ethernet standards efforts.
  • By positioning of Ethernet into evolving markets, and demonstrating Ethernet’s viability in those new markets and applications.

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What is the relationship between the Ethernet Alliance and other organizations that develop specifications and standards?

The Ethernet Alliance has a “Just Publish” policy and does not develop specifications or standards. The Ethernet Alliance works with other consortia, special interest groups and standards organizations through liaison relationships or membership in order to reach its goals of open, interoperable Ethernet solutions.

The Ethernet Alliance does not create specifications and develop certification criteria for vendors as some other alliances do, but rather relies on the standards process of the IEEE, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other Ethernet standards-bodies. The Ethernet Alliance focuses on promoting Ethernet’s benefits for existing and emerging applications.

The Ethernet Alliance is not focused to one specific user segment or application of Ethernet. The Ethernet Alliance covers a broad range of applications and user segments that are currently leveraging or will leverage Ethernet technology.

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Why such a broad focus for the Ethernet Alliance?

Ethernet is moving into areas not historically viewed to be a part of the Ethernet market, such as into consumer electronics and into the carrier core, and all points in between. The benefits of Ethernet are typically the same – flexibility, simplicity and delivering price/performance through enormous economies of scale. The Ethernet Alliance provides a perpetual organization to foster adoption of existing Ethernet technologies in existing and new markets, as well as supporting emerging Ethernet technologies.

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What does the IEEE 802 Ethernet standard cover?

IEEE 802 is the sponsor organization for many of today’s popular networking standards, but the standards efforts are carried out in working groups. The Ethernet effort in IEEE 802 is primarily in IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) working group, but there are numerous efforts that span both IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.1 (Bridging) working groups. Within these working groups are subcommittees that perform the standards development. Most efforts are contained within the working group, but there are a few that span into both.

The active subcommittees can be reviewed on the Initiatives page.

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How is Ethernet related to Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies?

Wireless access within a home, business or carrier network, through IEEE 802.11 or IEEE 802.16 devices, is very synergistic with Ethernet adoption. Today’s savvy consumer purchasing home networking gear with integrated wireless access will find built-in Ethernet connectivity. As the wireless technology grows in market acceptance and adoption, Ethernet continues to remain its primary form of connectivity to LAN, MAN or Internet. Ethernet will grow to support the next generation of wireless technologies.

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How is the Ethernet Alliance organized and operated?

The Ethernet Alliance is an open, independent and vendor-neutral organization. The Ethernet Alliance is governed by bylaws and rules. No one member has undue control and each principal member has one vote. Companies can join at principal or participating levels. Consulting membership is by invitation only and is primarily reserved for universities, government labs or other non-profit organizations.

There is a Board of Directors which is elected from the principal member organizations on an annual basis at the annual member meetings.

Read more on the Ethernet Alliance bylaws.

Who can join the Ethernet Alliance?

Any company with an interest in developing or promoting Ethernet is welcome to submit an application for membership. There are ways to engage whether you are a large or small company, and whether you want to contribute to Ethernet Alliance or just observe.

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How can someone join and what does it cost?

It is a simple process. Start by completing an application form and membership agreement. Upon approval by the Ethernet Alliance, an invoice will be sent based upon the requested membership class. Pay the membership dues, and once those dues are received, you can start working with the largest Ethernet community in the industry.

Even if you do not wish to join the organization, you may still sign up to receive our newsletters and invitations to our public events.

There are three levels of participation:

Principal members ($17,500/year) are eligible to participate in and chair committees. Committees form working groups and charter them. Principal members are also eligible to serve on the Board of Directors. Principal members have voting rights in the Ethernet Alliance. There is no limit to the number of Principal members.

Participating members ($10,000/year) are eligible to participate in and chair committees. Committees form working groups and charter them. Participating members do not have voting rights and are not permitted to serve on the Board of Directors. There is no limit to the number of Participating members.

Consulting members are by invitation only and will be listed on Ethernet Alliance collateral and website.

As for expectations, the level of participation is up to you. The Ethernet Alliance is a volunteer organization. You make the difference!

Join the Ethernet Alliance Today.

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Does the Ethernet Alliance participate outside of the United States?

The Ethernet Alliance is a global organization enjoying worldwide participation.

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My company is already a member, how do I get access to the member’s section of the website?

Go to the member’s login page and follow instructions on the left side of the screen to create an account.

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