Broadband via electrical lines?
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Broadband via electrical lines?

  1. #1
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,658

    Broadband via electrical lines?

    Has anyone else seen information on this technology? The concept of broadband being available on such a WIDE scale is interesting, but I would like to know more about the specifics, ie transfer rates, congestion problems and the like. If anyone has more info, or links to more info, then by all means please post!



    WASHINGTON -- The same power lines that bring electricity to televisions and toasters may become the next pathway into homes for high-speed Internet access, federal officials said Wednesday.

    They said the technology offers an alternative to cable and telephone lines as a way to get broadband service, with its ability to quickly deliver large amounts of data and high-quality video signals.

    "Every power plug in your home becomes a broadband connection," said Edmond Thomas, chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology. He said companies developing the technology have overcome many hurdles in the past year.

    "It's starting to look like a very viable technology," said Thomas, who described the technology in a presentation to the agency's five commissioners. "We're very excited."

    But it is uncertain whether most consumers will get to use it anytime soon, said Mark Uncapher, senior vice president with the Information Technology Association of America, a Washington-based trade group.

    "It is still very much an open question just how commercially feasible it is," he said. "It's going to need a company or companies that are really going to champion it."

    Internet access over electric lines would be similar in capability to connections over cable modems and telephone DSL, Thomas said.

    Such an alternative could lead to more competition and lower prices, Uncapher said.

    The FCC has been studying the technology for several months and will pay more attention to it this year, Thomas said. He said no regulations prohibit the technology, but the agency is concerned that Internet transmissions carried over power lines could emit signals inside and outside the home that could cause interference.

    "We want to make darn sure this isn't going to cause problems to your TV," he said.

    Utility companies PPL in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Ameren in St. Louis are conducting trial programs with consumers to test the technology, representatives of the companies said.

    "It is working," said Alan Shark, president of the Power Line Communications Association, which is promoting the technology. The trade group includes Internet companies including Earthlink and 11 utility companies that provide power to about 30 million homes.

    Earthlink, the No. 3 Internet service provider, has been in talks with utility companies, exploring partnerships to develop and market the technology, said Dave Baker, the company's vice president for law and public policy.

    "The engineering challenges are largely being overcome," Baker said. "The biggest challenges now are getting the product to market."

    Shark said the technology works by sending information over existing electric power lines. Cables carrying high-speed Internet information would likely be linked to electric lines after they have left power stations. Internet connections could then flow directly into the power outlets in homes and offices or to an outdoor pole that broadcasts a wireless broadband signal to a neighborhood.

    The current technology cannot send signals over high-voltage lines that carry greater amounts of electricity to isolated areas, Shark said.

    Shark said the technology has other potential benefits, including helping utilities monitor the condition of power lines and providing a backup communications system for communities worried about terrorism, natural disasters or other emergencies.
    Original article found here.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Beverwijk Netherlands
    Posts
    2,534
    In the netherlands a powercompany called Nuon is conducting (small) tests on this field.. They have the project called digistroom and are still testing..

    some info in dutch with nice pics about the subject..

    Sorry for all non-dutch readers..
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

    Get your ass over to SLAYRadio the best station for C64 Remixes !

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    352
    ive read the article linked by allenb but how is it meant to work?
    i kow that electricity is run thru copper cable like a LAn signal would be but how would you get electricity and computer signals to gel together like this? could anyone explain it in simple terms to me?

    i just dont see how it would work, or am i missing some tiny bit of info here?

  5. #5
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Beverwijk Netherlands
    Posts
    2,534
    mrleachy, the power uses a 50 or 60Hz signal, the network stuff goes at a lot higher frequency's..
    How Power-line Networking Works this is the indoor kind, but works the same..

    The problem the engineers are now working on is: getting a good Signal/Noice ratio for the connections.
    And security. Evryone connected to the same power supply could eavesdrop the connection.
    This could be overcome by VPN connections, like most DSL providers do nowadays..

    There are already commercial products for (home) Networks running over the powerlines (in your own home).. http://www.homeplugandplay.com/index.shtml


    BTW: a realy old cnn article (august 2001) about the subject: http://europe.cnn.com/2001/TECH/inte...ne.access.idg/
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
    When in Russia, pet a PETSCII.

    Get your ass over to SLAYRadio the best station for C64 Remixes !

  6. #6
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,542
    Like the_Jinx said it works on higher frequencies. There are however some disadvantages, the signal gets disturbed by other electical devices causing data transfer rate to drop and the signal disturbs itself other equipment cause it transmits some waves. (mainly cause there is no twisted pair or special shielding in power lines). To transmit more over a signal wave and to prevent datasniffing and the disadvantages mentioned above, there is a new standard that makes use of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) http://isp.webopedia.com/TERM/O/OFDM.html the use of OFDM reduces crosstalk in connections. OFDM is currently also used in wireless LAN connections and for DSL connections. OFDM splits an available range of frequencies into several separated channels. When one channel has a lot of noise it switches to another, that way it can maintain ethernet connection.
    In short the power signal is split from the data signal, like the data signal is split from the voice signal in DSL connections. Same principle, slightly different implementation

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    100
    i've read about this project some time ago. it works and the speed should be nearly 30 times of isdn but the problem is it is quite expensive (first hardware costs about 50 euro plus monthly depending on the amount of data from 50 euro for 250 megabyte until 125 euro for 10000 Megabyte)
    \"Knowledge is the Real Power\"

  8. #8
    Now, RFC Compliant! Noia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,210
    er.....I havn't read all of this, but something like this was being tested in Norway some time back, they used a gizmo to twine Optical cables around power calbes already set up....thus, a three man team could climb up one pylon, hook up the gizmo, turn it on, drive to the next pylon, and move it over...
    I think the whole idea of using powernetworks like that to transmitt data wont work because of noise from other powerlines, radio stations etc etc etc..

    well, my two cents any how.

    - Noia
    With all the subtlety of an artillery barrage / Follow blindly, for the true path is sketchy at best. .:Bring OS X to x86!:.
    Og ingen kan minnast dei linne drag i dronningas andlet den fagre dag Då landet her kvilte i heilag fred og alle hadde kjærleik å elske med.

  9. #9
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,542
    Originally posted here by Noia
    I think the whole idea of using powernetworks like that to transmitt data wont work because of noise from other powerlines, radio stations etc etc etc..
    - Noia
    Well, therefor they use Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), to reduce the signal noise problems.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •