Broadband using Power Lines?

By Julio Franco · 13 replies
Jun 3, 2003
  1. An interesting article over at PC World discusses a possible third pipe to deliver broadband access to homes and businesses. One of 'power line communications' (PLC) big advantages is that the infrastructure is already there meaning that any site with power outlets could be hooked up to a broadband connection.

    "You can be anyplace and just plug in," he says. "You can't beat the versatility--you're not restricted to one corner of the room where the phone line is coming, or the cable line is coming in. You just pick up your computer and plug it in anywhere, and there you are."

    Although still not quite there yet, various companies have been paying attention and following closely how this technology evolves, some of the potential providers have already set up trial locations with success. The article also goes details other subjects such as cost (could be less expensive than comparable DSL lines apparently) and how the technology itself works. Could you imagine this going mainstream anytime soon? Broadband for everyone! it could happen, you know...
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Oh, I firmly believe that in the very near future, anyone who has the ability to get a TV signal, or have power in their home will be able to get broadband internet.

    Its the future of home entertainment and will do for the 21st century what TV did for the 20th.
  3. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    I can only hope that what you are saying is true, you don't know what I would do and am willing to do to get a DSL connection. My area is supposed to be set up by the 6th August 03, but I will only be able to get a 512k connection :(, when I know someone across town (barely a mile) who will be able to get up to 2mbit.

    This really sucks and I wish for this Power Line Broadband method to go public soon. Note that I want a faster connection because it will be shared over a network of 3/4 computers which, unfortunately, is not set up yet.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Oh man, even having 512kbps is god like compared to dial up modem 56K crap. Its not just the speed, its the whole quality and versitility of the connection that just kicks so many shades of SH*T out of dial-up phone modem crap its not true.

    I never enjoyed the dial up internet experience at all. Slow, unreliable, frustrating. The multiple attempts to connect. The broken connections when you are right in the middle of something important - UGH!

    I still would buy a cheap modem and use it for my own point to point experiments, perhaps trying to use my server as a kind of one-man ISP, with call back and so forth, maybe even work with some others to write a java app for mobile phones that can connect to my PC through dial-up via modem - yeah sure, some of that might be fun.

    But using the thing for everyday internet use is a little like asking me to cut my feet off. No way!
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I first heard about this 2 years ago, and I have to say I'm very impressed with the technology's capability... I haven't checked up on any recent information, but the last I heard 2Gbps was a possibility through PAN.
  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I still have trouble with the concept of hooking up a direct path from High Voltage AC to logic circuits inside my computer. I've worked extensively with opto-isolators and various other methods of hooking AC to logic. Parts fail and considering the small gap between the AC and Logic circuits inside a small IC it is easily jumped by 110V and from there will go everywhere in your computer. No thanks.
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993 ought to feel lucky, i m stuck with a 256kbps and what's worse it comes with a download quota.
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I've been reading about this for a while now, I think the first time I saw it was back when cable and DSL were not yet very popular. It seems that I will see quite a bit of talk for a bit about it, a few articles and so forth, then nothing. It seems as though the idea just dies out, or maybe the Telcos are trying to keep it from becoming a force.

    on another note, I've been stuck with crappy dialup for way too long. Within the next two days that should change. I am finally able to get cable, 256/128 but I am thrilled to be getting rid of the headaches of dialup; busy signals, disconnects in the middle of a huge non-resumable dl, and all the other crap that just annoys the sh*t out of me about dialup.
  9. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,673   +988

    Consider yourselves lucky... until yesterday I was on a 64kbps modem connection that cost me over a hundred dollars, finally prices were dropped this month and I upgraded to 128kbps for almost the same amount of money.

    I’ve heard higher speed DSL might be offered later this year… probably at even higher prices but I will probably invest in that, if possible.
  10. aoj145

    aoj145 TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Ok, I've been trying this out and so far I've fried three networks cards, two motherboards and I no longer have any body hair. What am I doing wrong?!
  11. RustyZip

    RustyZip TechSpot Paladin Posts: 322

    Try plugging the cable from your modem into the phone socket instead of an AC plug socket !!!:confused: :D

  12. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I seriously doubt this will be available to consumers for a long time...

    A power company in my home town was testing it 2 years ago, and found it wasn't anywhere near ready... But they decided not to give up, and kept up with the tech... They finally "pulled the plug" (;)) a while ago...

    The reason is that there is way too much intereference due to all the "boxes" (for lack of a better term) between the consumer and the sentral...
    Of course, if a power company is willing to put down fiber from most of their "boxes" to the sentral, it won't be a problem, or if they invested in some very expensive tech to put in each "box" to eliminate the intereference, that'd work too...

    But either way it's currently very expensive to implement...

    I can't be bothered to proved links (yeah, I'm lazy today), but if you search around, you'll find plenty of whitepapers & discussions coming to the same conclusion...
    I guess the best place to start searching would be here (
  13. This is under test in about 4 places in MO, so far its been very good results.

    Here is a very GOOD read about PLC..

    I would expect to see this very profitable market, and low prices when standards are set for it.

    The 2 drawbacks so far is the Freq it operated at is close to HAM radio, and it works alot better in UK cause of electric standards there are lower than in US.

    UK its been in some areas for awile now.
  14. boom

    boom TS Rookie

    you guys have it easy

    Guys think yourselves lucky ....

    I am on a 56kbps dial up connection ..... Suck suck suck.... and i am well ot of the 5 mile range from a broadband transmitter.

    But that isn't half my problem...
    I would be happy if i acctually got the 45kbps as you normally would...but no the neighbours nxt door want a fax line...
    So BT obeys their every demand and guess what they do....
    Yup... they put a digital sharing device on our line !!!
    So our line is split ... meaning I only get

    !!!!! 28kbps !!!!!

    And i doesn't look any brighter about getting my connection back or ever getting Broadband .... and hey 28kbps sucks when there are 2 comps using it .....

    Why cant i get my connection back??

    Because BT say how expencive it is to remove it

    So... this is the only light in a somewhat crap connection... I may finally be able to get broadband :D

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