170Mbps through an electrical socket demoed

170Mbps through an electrical socket demoed

Summary: Matsushita showed off an exceptionally high-speed Internet through an ordinary electrical socket at a Japanese trade fair

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

Matsushita Electronics has claimed a breakthrough in powerline broadband by running an Internet connection through an ordinary electrical socket, using a new chip. At a tradeshow in Japan on Thursday the company demonstrated a network capable of running at 170Mbps over the electrical network.

Companies have been able to demonstrate data running on powerlines before, but only at speeds up to around 10Mbps and with strict limitations on the length of the cables.

The main problem is that the signal will dissipate through the cables over any distance more than about 150m.

Matsushita, which trades as Panasonic, told the Associated Press  that by using new products with the new chip embedded in them, users can access a broadband network simply by plugging into the electrical network.

The aim behind Matsushita's strategy, as it demonstrated at the show, is to use the electrical network as an alternative route for an Internet connection, and also as a replacement for Wi-Fi. The company pointed out that while almost all houses have electrical power not all have broadband, or even an Internet connection, so by using this system anyone can access, download and watch high-definition movies and other content in any room in the house.

Matsushita also hopes to sell refrigerators, TVs and other products with the chip already installed.

Topic: Emerging Tech


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • So, every time there is a lighting strike or other electrical gremlin... you fry your laptop/PC/fridge or whatever else has one of these adapters? Now there 2 different paths for the electrical spike to get to your PC/Laptop.

    I'm also wondering about the electrical conversion gremlins... 110V, 220V and the various receptacle/plug differences...

    I'm thinking not quite ready for prime time, just yet. Damn good idea though.
  • I'm sure the "Grimlins" you speak of have already been through consideration since this technology has been (for some years in Europe), and is in current use.

    I would jump all over this if it were offered in my area due to the fact that my home is out of broadband range.
  • can you please convey me more about this broadband service through electrical socket