By: MarkJ - 7 June, 2011 (5:59 AM)
uk powerline communications broadband internetA USA based telecoms firm called Gridline Communications has teamed up with Electricity Northwest, Cable and Wireless Worldwide and T-Systems (T-S) in the UK to launch a unique pilot of "Broadband over Power Line" (Power Communications) technology in the rural UK village of Shap (Cumbria).

The project will be conducted alongside the installation of Smart Meters (24 Million homes in the UK will be required to have one by 2020) and is similar to one that was announced for Liverpool last year (here), which uses existing national grid power lines to carry broadband internet access services into homes. It does this by separating out the electricity and internet service into separate wave lengths.

Gridline claims that its pilot should be completed by the end of June 2011 and success could reap significant rewards. The firm hopes that its project in Shap will lead to a full deployment model, which would reach approximately 2.5 Million Smart Meter equipped homes and businesses on the Electricity Northwest power grid.

Powerline technology is not without its pitfalls, of course, and the governments own national broadband strategy (Britain's Superfast Broadband Future) warned that the "cost of deployment and providing services is relatively high". Interference was another serious concern, with "broadcast radio, aeronautical radio and navigation services" potentially at risk of disruption.

The UK government wants 90% of "people in each local authority area" to have access to a superfast (25Mbps+) broadband ISP service by 2015. Sadly Gridline doesn't say how fast its service in Shap will run, although the Liverpool trial boasted a top speed of 200Mbps (probably shared capacity).

Gridline does at least claim on its website that the "pricing of our equipment will be in line with all other competitive broadband products such as DSL or cable modem", which would certainly deal with at least one of the governments concerns (cost).

Meanwhile Shap's 1,000+ strong population will just be pleased to gain a hopefully good bit of broadband connectivity. We hope to have some further details in the future.
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Comments: 18

asa logoG3YBO
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 8:00 AM
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Not good news if one wants to use a shortwave receiver or if
it causes interference to air traffic in the area......Have a look at
www.ban-plt.co.uk and see what problems are.....
asa logowirelesspacman
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 8:34 AM
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I would not worry too much as I dare say that this one will go the way of the rest! These powerline schemes seem to like surfacing every couple of years, but none have yet shown themselves to be viable here in Blighty.

It amazes/amuses me that they keep on trying - have they not yet managed to work out why telephone cables and data cables are twisted? :-)
asa logoAndy
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 8:59 AM
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BPL (and its sister PLT) has been proven to be one of the most polluting technologies on the planet. When in use - which under this scheme would be 24/7 - radio sets in the area cannot function properly due to the high levels of electromagnetic radiation from the cables and the connected house-wiring.
It is so bad that it can even interfere with itself, slowing down BB access and causing loss of service.
asa logoG3YBO
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 12:54 PM
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I guess the USA people have found they cannot sell in USA and
want to put this dirty PLT in the UK.....Hope Air Sea Rescue and
Mountain Rescue who use HF radio will check it while the tests are
taking place.....

See www.ban-plt.co.uk to see what a mess we could be in....
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 1:04 PM
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I'm certainly surprised by how slow Ofcom has been to react when similar complaints have been raised, most recently by the BBC. Some studies have been done but Ofcom really needs to go in and do a more detailed assessment of the existing trials and any impact upon other services.
asa logoDavid
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 2:56 PM
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This is true. It is very polluting from a radio sense. All of short wave and some vhf bands are completely wiped out. And no one seems to care at all. as long as government id seen to be giving broadband who care what mess they make to the radio spectrum. its actually criminal. and there is nothing we can do until someone dies cos there radio cannot pick up the emergency messages. you should not be fooled by this way of giving broadband. please stop radio pollution!
asa logoVM
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 3:08 PM
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More electricity bill!!!!!
asa logoBob
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 3:30 PM
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Dont tell Steve Jobs, or everyone will want it regardless of wether it is needed,,,lol
asa logoG0NIG
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 4:00 PM
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There are far easier, and in the long run, economical solutions to providing broadband internet access to areas like this and the infrastructure is already on place e.g:
Mobile Broadband - 3 Already provide coverage in the Shap area and other providers will probably be doing also as the M6 Motorway is close by.

Ka-Sat Provides 10Mb per user, with five beams allocated to the UK. The initial outlay per individual is quite high
(199 GBP) but the possibility of a community HUB should be explored. Tests conducted on PLT systems demonstated that even the emmissions from underground cables were detected some 2000km distant on the HF frequencies (2-30MHz).
asa logoG3YBO
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 5:31 PM
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PLT or BLP or what they call it is not very green.....Soon be to late
to bolt the door when its here......Then all we can say is we told you
so.....When will Ofcom get better information.....Who is feeding all
this got to be good stuff.....As Nig said its here and I am sure some
one in Cumbria could get it up and running.....
asa logoSplunge McSignal
Posted: 7 June, 2011 - 9:29 PM
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It's not in the USA because the FCC would not allow it. Ofcom bow to industry because HMG has decreed that we *must* have proper fast broadband no matter what.
Anyone standing in the way of this great progress obviously has a beard and operates a morse key, so can be successfully ignored.
asa logoCarrot63
Posted: 8 June, 2011 - 12:31 AM
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Ofcom's studied disinterest in the effects of PLT is a bit too casual to be put down to a lack of information; it is deliberately blocking any attempts to get a clear picture and then smearing those that attempt to do so as "bearded". Much the same blocking campaign as they have run regarding the mobile mast sites database with T-mobile. You have to wonder if they didn't see this coming and decided as a matter of "do what we say" policy to try to nip objections to blanket interference by this technology in the bud.

Ofcom's exchange with Ban PLT on FOI requests is informative, characterised by an apparently wilful dragging of feet and ignoring of deadlines. Kudos to Mark Salter for his perseverance.

http://tinyurl.com/3rnqbqq

Ofcom have the staff and expertise to understand why this MAY be a bad idea; sadly those staff are not making the policies, which seem ideologically driven to me.
asa logoSteve
Posted: 8 June, 2011 - 8:10 AM
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The Act of Parliament that allows power companies to string over head lines across farmers fields or under them only covers the companies for the provision of electricity, not internet based services...

If I was a farmer in this area I would be putting in a claim to the power company.

Also the Radiocommunications Agency did some field strength measurements on this type of system some years ago, Ofcom will have these results somewhere in the archive.
asa logoG4XXW
Posted: 8 June, 2011 - 9:14 AM
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To Wirelessspaceman:

"I would not worry too much as I dare say that this one will go the way of the rest! These powerline schemes seem to like surfacing every couple of years, but none have yet shown themselves to be viable here in Blighty."

I think we should because now the utility customer is subsidising the infrastructure as a result of the Brussels administrative dictatorship decreeing the installation of 'smart meters'. The prospective economics of internet delivery in this fashion may look pretty attractive.
asa logoCarrot63
Posted: 8 June, 2011 - 12:08 PM
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"Ofcom will have these results somewhere in the archive."

And it will be no doubt as hard to pry out of their hands as every other report, database or finding that doesn't fit the picture they're trying to paint.
asa logoBisarster
Posted: 8 June, 2011 - 3:01 PM
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It is BIS (UK Dept for Business Innovation and Skills) who are really behind this. They support Business (the clue is in their name) at any cost. This includes downplaying any EU regulations (including EMC) which get in the way.

They have no environmental conscience, and are quite prepared to screw up the radio spectrum for short term commercial gain.

Just as well they are not in charge of housing or roads as there would be few trees left...
asa logoJohn
Posted: 11 June, 2011 - 11:42 AM
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I wonder why the government want folk to have 25Mbps+ broadband connections when they are struggling to tackle illegal downloads and the like.

This technology will fail EMC testing from day one so Ofcom should prevent it. We all know they won't because the technology is good for businesses.

I think Ofcom's complacency will get them in very deep water very soon.
asa logoRobob
Posted: 12 June, 2011 - 6:56 AM
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We SHOULD worry! It is a very polluting technolgy that should never see the light of day again. This government will no doubt bow to the pressure from any compnay wanting to promote it. We must resist!



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