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Old 21st September, 2002, 06:50 AM
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"Shocking" news

From The Register....:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/22/27221.html

Broadband over power lines idea alive and well
By John Leyden
Posted: 20/09/2002 at 12:37 GMT


Remember the idea of using power cables as a medium to transmit high-speed Internet traffic?

The concept was all the rage in the late 1990s but then high-profile suppliers, such as Nortel/Norweb, Siemens and more recently RWE, pulled out the market citing regulatory issues and slow sales. As a result, ADSL cemented its position as the primary means to deliver broadband to consumers.

However the technology hasn't gone away; far from it.

A meeting of Plcforum, an industry group of suppliers and technology vendors to the industry, held in Edinburgh, Scotland last weekend reaffirmed their commitment to develop Power Line Communications (PLC) as a competitive broadband access and in-home LAN technology.

The Plcforum General Assembly meeting was hosted by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), which is currently trialling a commercial PLC system in Scotland supported by funding from DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and the Scottish Executive.

It's hoped that the technology offers an economicall viable way of deploying broadband services in rural Scotland.

According to Antony Lole, a Telecom Infrastructure Manager at SSE, the trial is still in its early stages, with just a dozen or so customers connected in the Crieff and Campbeltown areas of Perthshire. However results so far are encouraging, and guinea pigs are seeing good throughputs, in some cases getting a symmetric connection delivering speeds in excess of 1Mbps.

"We're learning how to tweak the equipment to get throughput up and noise down," Lole told us.

The outcome of the trails, still at an early stage, will help SSE decide whether to make the service available commercially.

Elsewhere in Europe, particular in Germany, power utilities are further ahead in rolling out Net over power line services. Leading supplier include EnBW in Germany and Endesa in Spain.

Currently, there are more than 60 PLC sites in the world with thousands of paying customers connected, operating "without disturbing security services or any other broadcasting services", the Plcforum notes.

That last remark is telling because Norweb/Nortel decision to pull out of the powerline market in 1999 was made against the backdrop of fears that the technology could drown out other radio traffic and interfere with civil aviation and emergency service transmissions.

SSE's Lole said regulatory issues still exist but equipment has become "quieter" and lessons have been learned about how to install the equipment so it is less noisy.

During recent years, PLC technology has improved, and has reached "industrial maturity" as an alternative broadband access technology, according to the Plcforum. Current generations of power line technology can provide broadband access at speeds of up to 45Mbps. ®
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Old 21st September, 2002, 09:41 AM
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anything that increases the number of people with broadband is a good thing to me (apart form flattening large areas of natural habitat)
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Old 25th September, 2002, 04:32 AM
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This 'Net via power-line is very intriguing. Seems weird at first glance. I forgot about it after reading that it was being tried in Germany. Thanks for the update, Southern Man!
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Old 26th September, 2002, 03:05 AM
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The theory is great modulating the lines on the electromagnetic level. Almost @ like 200ghz something crazy like that. I had a rather large trade article on it and i lost it. Wired had an article about 8 months back about it too.
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Old 26th September, 2002, 05:34 AM
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I could have sure used something like this in my last place I lived. I was in a 3 room log cabin in the foothills of North Carolina. No cable, phone lines could barely carry a phone conversation much less a modem. The best I ever got for a connection speed was like 32,000 and it would be interupted on a regular basis. No DSL of any type. My only choice I had doe broadband was satellite and it was (still is) not accessible for the common man on a average budget.

This idea would have been a God send. I know Dimmreaper is in somewhat the same situation as I was being out in the boonies. I bet he would like to see this hit rural America.

I would like to be in on the ground floor in a franchise of this idea when it comes to pass. There will be masses of people going for it I bet.
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