Firms line up to offer Internet via the mains

Firms line up to offer Internet via the mains
Nortel has a ‘considerable number of customers’ committed to trials of its technology for delivering Internet access via the mains; systems could be in place by September. By Richard Ball Nortel’s technology for delivering Internet access over the mains power cables will be offered by several power utility companies by the year end. “We have a considerable number of customers who are committed to feasibility trials,” said Dr John Laycock, head of the project at Nortel in Maidenhead. Commercial systems could be in place by September, he claimed. “We’ll have announcements next week for content providers and partners,” Laycock said. Companies that install the system will be able to offer a wider range of services than just Internet access. “We intend to do voice in the future,” Laycock said. This would replace the BT land line, and could offer several phone lines at once. Another application, aimed at small businesses, will back up the computer’s hard disk every night. And since the user is permanently connected to the network, a digital camera can be added for surveillance of the home or office. A production version of the Digital PowerLine technology was announced by Nortel at CeBIT. “Last year we announced a first generation product for verification and trials,” said Mark Main, the project’s marketing manager. This was based on a card in a PC, but restricted the technology to consumers privileged to own a computer, said Main. The new unit is separate from other equipment and can be used with Web browsers and network computers as well as standard PCs. Basestation units will be located at transformer substations, modulating data onto the mains. Each basestation handles a 1Mbit/s data stream. Houses or businesses that have a link onto the system share the bandwidth.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*