The Use of Existing Electrical Powerlines for High-Speed Communications to the Home

With impending deregulation, electric utilities are investigating how they can compete through better quality, pricing, and service offerings. The deregulated utility business will become three separate businesses: power generation, transmission, and local distribution. Local distribution will be a very competitive arena, where many utilities will seek to gain competitive advantage by offering new services in addition to electric power and building brand recognition. One approach that utilities can pursue takes advantage of their vast, in-place wiring infrastructure. With the proper technology, the infrastructure can also serve as a high-speed communications medium over the "the first hundred feet" to the residence. Through the use of powerline communications, electrical utilities can supply both electric power and a pipe for high-speed, reliable communications traffic, including Internet access.

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