HOME-TECH CONSORTIUM THE INTERNET Home Alliance recently launched the Home Integrator Initiative, an industry-wide effort to promote the need for certified home integrators and a common set of technology standards.

“We've gone from future-proofing homes to talking about the products that encompass a home network,” says Tim Woods, the Alliance's vice president of ecosystems development.

“What home buyers and builders want to know is that they've got the right person, that he knows what he's talking about, is certified, and that if something goes wrong they can call him,” says Woods.

According to Woods, the Home Integrator Initiative doesn't seek to consolidate the industry around one set of certification courses. He says that groups with educational programs with a residential focus, such as the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), would still operate independently but would follow a common set of standards and goals.

One goal that the group identified is for home integrators to develop a thorough understanding of data systems, specifically home networks, as the initial basis for distinguishing home-tech integrators from other certified low-voltage installers. Two standards the group says all home-technology integrators should be familiar with are TCP/IP, the common networking protocol used in Internet communications, and structured wiring based on Category 5E/6 wiring.