DirecTV to offer powerline broadband and VoIP

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One of the limitations satellite TV providers have faced for years is that they lack the infrastructure to offer triple-play bundles of voice, video, and data like the ones cable companies and telecoms offer their customers. To that end, DirecTV has announced a partnership with a firm called Current Group to bring broadband over power line (BPL) Internet and VoIP service bundled with their TV packages.

DirecTV customers will be able to plug a modem into an electricity outlet and go online at speeds ranging from 256Kbps to 3Mbps. The companies expect the service to be available to about 1.8 million homes and businesses over the next several years.

Broadband over power line technology is still at an early stage, though. Current Group's subsidiary Current Communications offers BPL service in the Cincinnati area, with plans to expand to the Dallas-Fort Worth area soon. The company still has to negotiate with utilities in other regions to get its service installed.

DirecTVís past efforts to compete with cable companies includes deals with Qwest and AT&T to bundle its satellite TV service with the telecoms' voice and data plans.

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