16/05/2005

Ofcom Website | Powerline Telecoms

Ofcom Website | Powerline Telecoms

Powerline Telecoms, or broadband over powerlines has had relatively poor success in the UK and in Europe in general. It has found a home in places like the Australian outback. Looking at Ofcom's reports you can see why.

In short it looks like using powerlines for backhaul is bad, though there aren't any formal UK (or even EU) specifications the FCC have published emission standards as have the Germans, and the backhaul trials way exceed both of them.

However using broadband over powerlines into homes faired much better, with good results and very low emissions. So as long as the power company can get a decent connection into the electricity substation, it looks like they can safely get broadband into the home.

It wont work in built-up areas (like London) as multiple substations serve premises, so they'd interfere with each other, but then urban areas have probably got DSL or cable. Where it does work is in rural areas where one substation serves lots of premises (well multiple) and they are unlikely to have existing broadband services.
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