CI-Net, a wide area networking company, announced on May 21 that it was going to partner with the Solihull Community Housing (SCH) and provide Internet access to approximately 11,000 council homes in the area via the buildings’ power lines.
This would be done by using a 5.8GHz wireless broadband connection, ‘pre-WiMax’, which would be fixed on the roofs of the buildings and distributing the Internet connectivity to the residents through the electrical wiring of the buildings.
The Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council hopes that this project will be effective in bridging the digital divide in the area as well as in attracting new businesses to the area, which was earlier designated as a ‘deprived area’.
SCH's IT head, Chris Deery, said that one of the biggest hurdles of the project was to devise a reliable low-cost and low-maintenance way of providing Internet connectivity that could be sustained over a considerable period of time.
SCH plans to execute this plan next month in one building first and then carry out a survey among the residents who use this system about its functionality; further roll-out of this plan to the other buildings in the vicinity will depend on the residents’ responses to the survey.