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Power Over Ethernet Interoperability Guide by Sanjaya Maniktala

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What Is Interoperability?
Continuing Metcalfe’s 2006 interview, he went on to say: “What the word Ethernet actually means today is six things … (1) It begins with a de jure standard made by a legitimate standards body, in this case the IEEE 802. (2) The implementations of that standard, painfully arrived at over years, are owned by private companies … (3) Fierce competition among the purveyors of the standard with their various implementations … (4) Evolution of the standard based on how things look after it gets shipped, that is in the marketplace … . (5) Maximization of backward compatibility … . (6) an ethic in the competitive marketplace, where it is not allowed to be incompatible.
The last sentence points us to what we call interoperability ...

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