Distinctly separate standards for separate approaches would seem to reduce consumer confusion.
Will the winning vendors be those who embed all these standards in their devices so that their devices can work in mixed technology environments and in venues where different standards have been adopted? These vendors could be agnostic regarding which standard ultimately wins.
1 standard is better for both manufacturer and consumer, for technology itself too. With focus from the industry and competition, the cost of the solution will be eventually dropped. The solution will thrive.
It seems that the PHY is always an area of contention. In years past, the modulation wars were often between a single carrier system and an OFDM-based system. Now it seems the wars are between different flavors of OFDM.
In any standards body proceeding, there must be winners and losers. It's unfortunate that in this case, they are moving forward with several "winners." That mostly defeats the purpose of having a standard.
I understand the problem of herding cats, but to move forward with 3 different incompatible standards is not good progress. Eventually, one will win, but until then the efforts are diffused and too many will take a wait and see attitude. I picked wrong on Beta vs VHS, so I will wait...
The first thing I would need is a single standard. With three competing incompatible standards, why would I add to the BOM cost without knowing if it would work in a user's network of choice?
Until this is solved, powerline will be a niche product.