Ten sign up for Internet over mains

Ten sign up for Internet over mains
Richard Ball Ten public utility companies in Europe and Asia have signed up to use Digital PowerLine (DPL), the Internet-over-the-mains technology (See EW, March 25, p3). Nortel and Norweb Communications, which developed the technology, have formed a joint venture company called NOR.WEB to further market DPL. Norweb is itself one of the ten utilities committed to installing DPL. Others include Vattenfall and Sydkraft in Sweden, RWE and EnBW of Germany, and Singapore Power. These companies provide electricity services to 35 million people, all of whom could potentially use DPL. “We had an unprecedented response to the technology,” said Steve Pusey, chief executive of the joint venture. The company received some 1,500 enquiries when DPL was unveiled last October. “We narrowed these down to 40 serious leads,” he said. The remaining 30 companies, located around the world, are currently in discussion with NOR.WEB with a view to introducing the fast Internet technology. Digital PowerLine uses the existing mains cables to link homes, small offices and schools to the Internet at 1Mbit/s. “This is 20 times faster than the fastest dial-up modem available today,” Pusey said. NOR.WEB expects the first services to roll out by September, with up to 2,000 homes connected by the year end.


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