Power utilities to use Nortel's Internet over the mains technology this year

Power utilities to use Nortel’s Internet over the mains technology this year
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 (this 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.
A production version of the Digital PowerLine technology was announced by Nortel at CeBIT last week. The 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.


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