Mass trials launch for broadband via electric socket
LONDON - Broadband internet access through a standard electric socket is becoming reality, with the first UK commercial rollout unveiled this week for residents of Stonehaven in Scotland.
Scottish Hydro-Electric will offer residents, business and people in the public sector the chance to access the internet at a high speed via any room that has a standard electrical socket.
The technology to deliver the service is called Powerline Communication, and allows high-speed internet access without any new wires or cables. Users will subscribe at a monthly rate likely to be around £25, which will include the necessary plug and modem to be attached to the computer.
A trial was run last year in two rural communities in the north of Scotland, Crieff and Campbeltown. Now that it has proven to be technically possible, the company is looking at the commercial viability.
None of the communities in the trial had access to ADSL or cable services, and the new connection allows users to send and receive information at high speeds.
Access to broadband via electric sockets has the potential to undermine services offered by internet, telecom and cable firms such as AOL, BT and NTL. BT, in particular, has spent millions of pounds promoting its services as well as raising awareness of the benefits of broadband in general.
Keith MacLean, director of telecoms at Scottish Hydro-Electric, said: "Rural communities are usually denied access to real broadband, so we're very proud to be able to provide a top-notch internet service to an area that has been neglected by other companies. This is an affordable service that will allow almost every home and business in Stonehaven to surf the net, download files and play online games even faster than someone in a town or city."
More information on the service, which launches in May, is available from Scottish Hydro-Electric.
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