Broadband over powerline gets boost from US

A new initiative in the US could give broadband over powerline (BPL) a kickstart, with two US companies getting together to provide Internet connectivity through electricity cables.

in brief A new initiative in the US could give broadband over powerline (BPL) a kick-start, with two US companies getting together to provide Internet connectivity through electricity cables.

DirecTV, a satellite TV company, has reached a deal to resell BPL provider Current's service in parts of Texas, around Dallas-Fort Worth, from the end of this year.

Under the deal, 1.8 million homes will be covered by broadband over powerline connectivity over the coming years, at a speed of up to 3Mbps, according to reports.

The satellite TV company intends to offer its customers an Internet and VoIP package using the BPL connectivity, and plans to expand its user base as Current increases its network coverage.

The controversial technology has already been trialled in several places across Australia. Utility company Aurora Energy reported favourable results when it trialled the tech in 2006. Silk Telecom and Country Energy have also previously expressed an interest in the technology.

So far, however, the technology has gained little real foothold in the Asia Pacific region. In the US, however, BPL subscriber numbers are expected to reach around 2.5 million by 2011, according to industry watchers Parks Associates -- up from an estimated 400,000 this year.