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BPL (Broadband Over Powerline)

Is the internet getting everywhere? These days you can access it through 3G, Wireless and perhaps soon your standard plug socket, and oh yes if you’re feeling really retro you can use a modem or broadband connection.

Broadband over Power Line is one of the latest ways of getting the Internet out to the populace. It works through the feeding of modulated radio signals direct into the power grid. This is then fed into the customer’s home, where through a modem attached to a plug socket these signals are decoded, and voila the Internet appears.

This is a very attractive solution in a number of areas, especially as it uses a pre-existing infrastructure (i.e. the power grid.) This allows a quick roll out, and can mean that isolated communities can quickly gain access to the Internet, without much new investment or infrastructure required.

Using the power grid as a data transmission mechanism allows other internet related services to be offered as well, notably VoIP. And for those of you who regularly read this column you might remember that today was the first day of the VoIP for business show, one of the busiest exhibitions I’ve attended for a while. For further information on this check out (opens in new tab).

One of things that fascinates me about technology are the unexpected effects that developments have. For instance who’d have thought that the mobile phone revolution would have had such an effect on hotel income? Well when you think about it, it does become obvious.

When I was younger and staying in a hotel on a companies ticket, I always made sure that I got full value out of the telephone. These day’s with mobile phone ownership at saturation levels, there’s no need for most guests to pay the over inflated hotel telephone rates.

That’s one of things I learnt at this years show. Another was how attractive VoIP was becoming in local government. With its cost savings, manageability and centralisation, for local authorities with their multiple sites, branch offices, libraries etc…VoIP is becoming a bit of a no-brainer. This is one of those embarrassing times where the public sector seems to have the advantage over the private.

Broadband over Power Line is one of those solutions that I think we’re going to be hearing more about in the next couple of years. Check out the latest coverage here, I shall be back with more babble later this week.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.