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Open Powerline Broadband Standard

Posted: 18th Oct, 2005 By: MarkJ
Powerline Communications (PLC), a technology capable of delivering broadband Internet access to buildings via power cables, may be boosted by the emergence of the first 'open standard' come years end:

OPERA (Open PLC European Research Alliance) will publicly release a specification for Powerline Communications by the end of the year. The new specification covers the PHY, MAC and equipment of broadband PLC system, making it the only open PLC standard that ensures full interoperability for PLC (or BPL) broadband access and in-building distribution systems without recourse to proprietary technologies, addressing the needs of operated networks. Utilities, Network Operators, System Integrators and Service Providers will take full advantage of this open Specification to offer distinguished services to their customers.

"I am very excited at the prospect of the availability of a public, open, specification", said Laurent Feltin, of EDF, "This represents a significant step forward in broadband access over power lines. Utilities and telcos will be able to use Powerline infrastructure using standard solutions from multiple manufacturers to extend broadband access to communities who would never have had access to such services."

The sad reality, in the UK at least, is that Powerline broadband technology has long since missed the boat having failed to live up to expectations.

In a market dominated by ADSL/Cable, filled in with wireless and sanded off through Satellite, PLC stands little chance of re-emergence.
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