U.K. firm tests electric broadband

Mon, 09/30/2002 - 8:00pm

A "shocking" development appears to be popping up in parts of Europe these days. Perhaps taking broadband to a more literal "lightning fast" level, Scottish Hydro-Electric is testing a powerline-based broadband service in the towns of Crieff and Campbeltown, charging about 25 pounds sterling per month (about $39 U.S.), and promising speeds 40 times faster than dial-up connections.

In the case of Scottish Hydro-Electric's offering, the company is requiring a relatively easy-to-achieve list of minimal specs: Windows98SE operating system or later, a network interface card with a 10BaseT RJ-45 or USB port, and a CD-ROM drive.

One challenge, of course, is how the provider will overcome interference in powerline's inherently noisy environment.

Scottish Hydro-Electric is far from the first to try broadband over powerlines. German power company RWE, for example, launched an electrical power line-based service last summer for about $22 per month.


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