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Council Flats to Enjoy Broadband Access through Power Lines

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.

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 ITProPortal.com 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.