Thursday, April 7, 2005

European Commission Promotes Broadband over Powerline

Hoping to open the market to new suppliers of broadband services, the European Commission issued a recommendation designed to clarify rules on using electric power cables to carry data services. Specifically, the EC is requiring Member States to remove "any unjustified regulatory obstacles, in particular from utility companies, on the deployment of broadband power line communications systems."

Power Line Communications (PLC) is a broadband access technology that uses the low and medium voltage electricity grid to transmit voice, data and video. Data is sent as a high-frequency signal piggybacked on the 50 or 60-hertz mains electricity supply.

The EC estimates that several thousand customers are already being served broadband over PLC, with commercial deployments underway in Germany, Austria and Spain.


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