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First Canadian High Speed Internet over Power Grid 253

Posted by michael
from the shocking-ideas dept.
oO0(MjB)0Oo writes "Sault Ste. Marie, a northern Ontario town, is going to be the first installation of BPL (Broadband Power Line technology) in Canada. As reported in the Toronto Star, wireless access points will be set up along medium-voltage power lines, providing roaming capability throughout the city to all users."
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First Canadian High Speed Internet over Power Grid

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  • hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Machine9 (627913) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:07PM (#8190053) Homepage
    I sure hope no assembly on the part of the customers is required, and certainly nothing that involves putting the plugs on any cables.

    There's sure to be at least one moron that'll fry himself.

    • Re:hmmmm (Score:3, Funny)

      by WeblionX (675030)
      Isn't that called natural selection?
    • The Amperion unit on the pole uses Wi-Fi through the air for the connection from the pole to the house. All the subscriber needs is a Wi-Fi unit of his own.

      There are other power line broadband systems from other vendors that use a special proprietary modem that plugs into the 120v outlet in the customer home and has an Ethernet output.
  • Not quite... (Score:2, Informative)

    by DJPenguin (17736)
    It's not "over the power grid" in the way you might think, but just WAPs placed along the grid, connected via a fiber backbone. No IP is going along the power lines...

    Still great though :)
    • There's been a lot of confusion over this. For whatever reason, I'm not able to get to the article (not ./ already, I wouldn't think..) but I've read about efforts to send data over power lines. If this is simply using the existing power lines and infrastructure to place WAPs (instead of planning an independent network and placement) then the headline's a bit misleading. Just think of all the poor Canadians that haven't gotten electric power yet - they won't have wireless Internet access either!
      • Re:Not quite... (Score:4, Informative)

        by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:15PM (#8190155)
        "These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service."

        In what way is the headline inaccurate? This is the first semi-large test of using the power grid as a network distribution medium.

    • Read it again. (Score:3, Informative)

      by mindstrm (20013)
      IT is completly "over the power grid".

      The "fiber optic backbone" means their network center.

      The line says "From wireless, converted to be transmitted OVER THE GRID to the company's (PUC) fiber backbone to the internet."

      It is *precisely* a test of data over power lines.

      • "Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas.

        These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able
        • Re:Read it again. (Score:5, Informative)

          by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:23PM (#8190256)
          The fiber network is not everywhere.... do you think they have fiber on every pole? (fiber is usually buried, btw)

          Backbone == NOC. They are using medium voltage power lines as a large network between their backbone and the access points... the article headline, despite being on slashdot, is acccurate.

        • Re:Read it again. (Score:2, Informative)

          When they install power lines the sometimes include an optical fibre cable inside the cores sheathing, so your have say 3 huge copper conducting cores and a skinny little optical cable as well, all wrapped up by a protective PVC sheath etc.. It doesn't cost a lot extra as its installed and manufactured at the same time as the power cable. Its this otical ring theyre tapping into with their wireless network.
          • Re:Read it again. (Score:4, Informative)

            by bonnyman (662966) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @01:24PM (#8191001) Homepage
            "When they install power lines the sometimes include an optical fibre cable inside the cores sheathing, so your have say 3 huge copper conducting cores and a skinny little optical cable as well, all wrapped up by a protective PVC sheath etc.. It doesn't cost a lot extra as its installed and manufactured at the same time as the power cable. Its this otical ring theyre tapping into with their wireless network."

            The above is incorrect. We specialize in fiber cable systems for power utilities. (See the Fiber Planners [fiberplanners.com] web site for more info on what we do)

            Power utilities build fiber into their conductors in 3 situations:

            1. They use optical groundwire (OPGW) on high voltage transmission lines between cities. This is an aluminum conductor with fibers in it that is placed above the power conductors and used as combination lightning guard and communications cable. This is widely deployed.

            2. On the latest high voltage underground cables, they may use one fiber as a temperature sensor. These cables are not widely deployed. There are real issues associated with adding anymore fibers to that kind of cable for communications -- it's cheaper to just bury a separate fiber-only cable nearby, unless you're deploying an undesea cable, which leads to #3.

            3. A few undersea power cables (such as might feed an offshore island) may include fibers for communications.

            Most fiber cable deployed by power utilities is all-dielectric (contains nothing conductive) and hung or buried near the conductors on medium voltage power distribution systems.

            The Amperion system in Sault Ste. Marie uses HF radio signals propagated down PUC's standard metallic power conductors to Wi-Fi units outside subscribers' homes. The Wi-Fi unit then takes that HF signal and retransmits a Wi-Fi signal through the air the last 100 feet or so to the subscriber.
    • Re:Not quite... (Score:5, Informative)

      by pyser (262789) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:15PM (#8190162)
      Actually the article does say the data is put on the medium-voltage distribution grid, which is the transmission medium between their fibre backbone (presumably at the substations) and the WAPs mounted on hydro poles in neighbourhoods. They're just not running it on the 240v drop to the customer as in some implementations.
    • This does indeed use the power lines. Read more carefully.

      +5 my ass.
    • Awww man and I was already trying to figure out how to adapt a CAT-5 to fit my power outlets so I could turn my living room floor lamp into a stock ticker.
    • by zoney_ie (740061) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:36PM (#8190410)
      Here in Ireland, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) - our State electricity company, is setting up something similar. They have a fibre ring following the trunk electricity routes - it's just fibre piggy-backed on their existing infrastructure.

      I'm just amazed they haven't done this ages ago - it puts them at a huge advantage to those who have to dig up stuff and lay fibre from scratch.

      Not sure what ESBs plan is to connect this main telecomms artery to anything useful...
      • >I'm just amazed they haven't done this ages ago

        I think you'll find that the recent announcement is the completion of something they have been building it for the last two and a half years.

        >Not sure what ESBs plan is to connect this main telecomms artery to anything useful...

        The network provides broadband infrastructure across the country. There are plans to make broadband available to an additional 90 towns in a short time frame and at a very competitive price.

        Details here [onbusiness.ie]
    • Re:Not quite... (Score:2, Informative)

      by tzanger (1575)

      To be exact: It's using the medium voltage grid to transport data to the NOC. You access the internet via 802.11b access points on the poles.

      From the article:
      These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service.

      So basically what they're doing is something I did over 1

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:08PM (#8190069)
    ...next time the lights go out in NYC. Some evil Canadian hacker will uncap their powerline modem and lights will dim all along the US east coast.
  • by emptybody (12341) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:09PM (#8190075) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't a private individual use their own gear to run their own ISP over PowerLines?

    What prevents this?
    • How about the fact that it's not actually over the powerlines, as the misleading /. headline says, maybe you should read the article first?
      It's really a WiFi solution put out by the power company utilizing their existing infrastructure.

      These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to
      • by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:20PM (#8190229)
        These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent THROUGH THE GRID...... and onto the company's backbone.

        GRID == power grid.

        The backbone is not everywhere.. the "backbone" is just somefiber link they have at a NOC to some other isps.

        They are indeed using power line data transmission for this... that's what the entire project is about, and the only reason it is significant.

        • My point was the home user DOESN'T connect via the GRID, they connect via Wireless.
    • They are using the medium voltage lines for transmitting the data. I'd guess that both the WiFi boxes and the Internet->Power Grid box are both on medium voltage lines.

      Sending the data to the transformers (and onto the low-voltage line that enters your house) is probably very difficult and problematic because of the effect of the transformer on the signal. If the data could easily pass through the transformer, you'd think the modem would just plug into a wall socket rather than using WiFi.

      Thus, if

  • Awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xoder (664531) <slashdot@NOSPam.xoder.fastmail.fm> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:09PM (#8190085) Homepage
    But I have to wonder whether this will increase the noise on the powerlines. The frequency used on the lines is not given, but don't we have enough 2.4 GHz noise in the air? Do we need some bleeding into the powerlines as well?

    Of course, that could be my "the Commons is being raped"-foil hat again.
    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Informative)

      by ProfMoriarty (518631) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:43PM (#8190506) Journal
      Actually, they are using between 5 - 70 Mhz .... since nothing important(*) resides down there ...

      (*) nothing important does NOT include:

      • shortwave radio (7-14 Mhz)
      • older cordless phones (~49 Mhz)
      • CB Radio (~29Mhz)
      • Several Amateur Radio bands (1.8, 3.5, 7.0, 10.0, 14.0, 18.068, 21.0, 24.9, 28.0, 50.0 Mhz)
      • Military communications (several)
      • Hey, no one likes Hams anyways. And CB is soo 80s! And why wouldn't everyone have the newest 100GHz phone (More GHz means more chicks). Short-wave? Can I get that on my TeeVee?

        BTW, I'm KC2DXE and I bought one of those old 49MHz phones at a Hamfest once. Worked really well until one of my younger brothers broke it.
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by michael_cain (66650)

        Actually, they are using between 5 - 70 Mhz .... since nothing important(*) resides down there ...

        The powerline stuff operates at quite low total output power levels. In the US (can't speak to Canada, although the rules are probably similar in nature), the regulations call for you to be below particular radiated power levels at distances of 1m and 3m from the conductors -- several companies claim that their powerline stuff meets these rules. Recent versions of the powerline gear uses OFDM as the modu

      • I messed up the range ... it's actually from 2 Mhz to 80 Mhz ...

        (and yes, it would include RC Models ... airplanes and cars ... as somebody else pointed out)

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:2, Informative)

      by bonnyman (662966)
      The frequencies on used all of the commercially deployed powerline broadband systems are in the 2 to 80 MHz range. The Amperion system uses these lower frequencies (often confusingly referred to as HF or high frequency) to distribute the signals across the last mile --except for the last 100 feet or so. It then uses Wi-Fi to make the last connection. The Amperion unit hangs on the medium voltage power line, getting its' power from the same line. This unit converts the HF, last mile power line signal to a Wi
  • radio comunications (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:10PM (#8190097)
    this can really disrupt wireless communications notably ham commmunications, power lines make for big antenas
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Honestly, is it too much to read the summary instead of just the misleading and/or sensational headlines?

      Of course, I must be new here.
      • Is it too much to actually understand the story and that the headlines are indeed correct, not misleading or sensational, and that it could indeed interfere with Ham radio (and other communication systems).

        Yes, you must be new here. And new to reading too.

  • Next step. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Omni Magnus (645067) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:10PM (#8190098)
    The next step is for them to figure out how to send broadband throught the sewer system.*

    Dilbert reference
  • by nate1138 (325593) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:10PM (#8190099)
    In remote areas like this, shortwave radio is still in pretty heavy usage. I'll be this pilot program will be grounded in short order ;-)
  • To good old Sault St. Marie [sault-canada.com]. And don't forget your laptop.
  • Uh oh (Score:1, Funny)

    by tarius8105 (683929)
    So if there is a blackout, its because someone in Canada is using Kazaa?
  • ... for a $1 fee, you can inflict a painful electrical shock to anyone else on the network!
  • RF interference? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iantri (687643) <iantriNO@SPAMgmx.net> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:13PM (#8190129) Homepage
    How are they going to deal with RF interference issues? Canadian ham radio operators have very similar rights to those in the US.. the CRTC keeps its regulations pretty similar to the FCC.

    Also, will this cause any other sort of interference? My TV reception (over antenna) is already crap because of Ontario Hydro -- I live within 0.5km of the high-voltage pylons and my TV reception is terrible on VHF because of it.. (during the huge power outage last summer, I was able to very clearly receive stations all through New York state)

    • The large electrical current flowing in the medium voltage lines cause so much RF interference that the interference due to the data transmission will be negligible.

      The WiFi transmitters could cause a problem. I'm sure they've analyzed this. Let's hope they publicly release a report on it before we implement this in the US.

    • I agree. This seems totally stupid, esp in a country like Canada. People live in very remote places and hikers venture into some even further remote locations. People's lives often depend on HAM radio communications. As a HAM here in the US, that lives in a urban setting, I know how much trouble I have on the HF bands because there are large transmission lines near my house.... let along trying to run broadband on them as well. I wish there were something we could do to help out Canadian friends out on this
    • Hm, actually when I hear about broadband-over-powergrid stories, we have been hearing about tests and "we're soon online" stories for years now, my first reaction is "yep, sure, wake me up if this stuff actually works without RFI problems". Those things are designed to do AC in the a few tens of Hz range, not in the MHz range.

      But if I understand this stuff correctly, it seems like they are actually relying on the radiation as a carrier... Huh? Rather than looking upon RFI as a problem, they seem to be ex

  • I understand due to the geographical and demographical situation, they will be running advertising campaigns warning potential customers to call before they plug their modems into the toaster!
  • Look at how great this privatiazation of the hydro companies have worked in Ontario - a town in the middle of nowhere has internet! Now if it didn't cost and arm and a leg and rolling blackouts weren't going to become a daily occurance I just might think selling the hyrdo co's was a good idea :P
    • For years (long before the Ontario power privatization fiasco) Sault Ste. Marie has been serviced by it's Public Utilities commission, which used to get the majority of its power from the privately run Great Lakes Power [glp.on.ca].

      Since Ontario privatized, rates in the Sault have gone up along with the rest of the province. They had been really low - it's nice having a company with at least 7 hydroelectric dams headquartered right in town. I've toured the Clergue station in downtown - neat facility. Completely run
  • Does anyone know if this'll get broadband access out to the rural areas? I'm in a place where DSL and cable are a wet dream.
  • by Grym (725290)

    What I find most interesting is how the last 150 meters to the customer is done via 802.11b wireless. While the guy is right in saying that it will provide roaming capabilities, this represents a huge security (or lack thereof) issue.

    Soon Canada will become the true safe haven for all pot-smokers and hackers, it seems. Better plan a roadtrip, boys.

    -Grym
  • Amperion.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by Linus Sixpack (709619) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:22PM (#8190254) Journal
    The company supplying the technology is called Amperion. Their website has a description of the kit probably used in the article.

    http://www.amperion.com
  • Candle lit (Score:3, Funny)

    by savagedome (742194) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:27PM (#8190317)
    So, instead of watching TV in candle light, I can surf in candle light. Awesome!

    Oh... wait a sec

    • I spent some time online during the blackout in new york, just for kicks. Sat out on the street, let people check their e-mail.
  • No shielding (Score:5, Informative)

    by arrianus (740942) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:30PM (#8190355)
    For those not following the broadband-over-power-lines debate, the basic problem is lack of shielding. Cable modems use coax cable, where the outside of the coax acts as a shield, and so very little RF gets out. The wires carry broadband internet, but don't interfere with anything. In the case of DSL/telephone, you have twisted pair (or at the very least, two wires running very close to each other). They effectively shield each other (meaning that each generates a field in the opposite direction, and the fields cancel out if you're not too close to the wire). More RF gets out than coax, but it's still negligable compared to desirable transmissions. In the case of power lines, they are, depending on power line configuration and frequency, either a significant fraction of a wavelength apart, or several wavelengths apart. In some directions, you get destructive interference, but in others, you get constructive interfence. In the directions of constructive interference, you have a lot of signal being broadcast. As a result, they act as a directional antenna, which interferes with anything on the same wavelengths as power-over-power-lines.

    Signal strength goes a square of distance. That means that if I have an antenna running 10 meters from my house, and I'm trying to tune into a station 10 kilometers aways, that station needs to be putting out a million times more power than the segment of powerline running next to me. Ouch.

    This probably won't interfere with typical consumer applications (television, FM radio), because if it did, there would be significant political reprecussions, and it would be banned (in other words, it's probably engineered to operate outside of those frequencies). On the other hand, according to the ARRL, it very likely will interfere with amateur radio and therefore emergency communications services.

    My view is that it may be a good idea in some third world countries, with no telephone service, where there are no alternatives for Internet. However, in modernized countries, we're better off spending the few extra dollars to put in DSL on top of all phone lines or sticking with modems for a while longer, than in the short term, sacrificing emergency communications infrastructure, and in the long term, entrenching a system of broadband that takes away a significant chunk of the spectrum, and prevents all sorts of innovative uses of that spectrum we haven't thought of yet. Spectrum is a scarce resource, and it's gonna get scarcer. The population growing, but amount of spectrum stays constant, sans a few one-time improvements from better utilization (there are fundamental limits on signal strength vs. noise vs. bandwidth vs. bitrate -- with antenna arrays/directional transmissions, there are limits on directionality vs. frequency vs. transmitter size -- we cannot improve utilization forever). In contrast, all the benefits of power-over-power-lines are short-term -- we only gain the one-time cost of not having to modernize our infrastructure (maintanance costs of the two possible infrastructures aren't significantly different).

    I don't know how this initiative works, but my impression is that it sends broadband over powerlines, and then the last gap is sent via wireless. If this is the case, it has all of the standard problems associated above. If not, I need more information than is in the article to evalute it :)
  • by presearch (214913) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:33PM (#8190378)
    Not only the home of the Bandettes [soonet.ca], but now internet for everyone!
    My kind of town.
  • I thought it was on the US border.
    • Yes Northern ... for the Toronto Star. The Sault is a good 7 hrs drive north of TO and most Torontonians would consider that *north* despite the fact that it is south of all of western Canada.
  • Canada? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NixLuver (693391) <stwhite @ k c h eretic.com> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:37PM (#8190423) Homepage Journal
    Ok, what's the tech market like in Canada for hard-core engineer level *Nix geeks? :) How do Canadians feel about American Immigrants? LOL
    • hat's the tech market like in Canada for hard-core engineer level *Nix geeks?

      In Sault Ste. Marie, about zero. All 4 of those jobs are taken. The Sault is a steel town, and it's economy has been in the dumps for some time - unemployment is in 17% range, last I saw.

      It's a shame, isn't it? Maybe it could be the next hot tech area - but how do you draw people to a town that gets 400cm of snow a season?
  • by rlowe69 (74867) <ryanlowe_AThotmailDOTcom> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:44PM (#8190520) Homepage
    Just so people not familiar with the place know, the Toronto Star is kind of stretching the word "town" here. Sault Ste. Marie has a population of over 75,000 people [wikipedia.org].

    Also, "hydros" in the article refer to the power utilities like Ontario Hydro. "Hydro" (water) comes from the fact that they get some of the power from hydroelectric damns.
    • Just so people not familiar with the place know, the Toronto Star is kind of stretching the word "town" here. Sault Ste. Marie has a population of over 75,000 people.

      To people who live in Toronto, any place smaller than Toronto isn't a city. Therefore Sault Ste. Marie must be something less, a town.
      • To people who live in Toronto, any place smaller than Toronto isn't a city. Therefore Sault Ste. Marie must be something less, a town.

        That is a typical center-of-the-universe ignorant Torontonian attitude. By that logic Ottawa must be a town too. And Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg. All smaller than Toronto yet they are all cities. Fairly big cities I might add.

        In fact, if you read the wikipedia article I linked to [wikipedia.org] it will tell you that Sault Ste. Marie was incorporated as a city in 1912.

        To Americans (a
  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:44PM (#8190525)

    Ah yes, a Northern Ontario town, on the southern border of Ontario. South of Seattle. Yep.

    • Actually, it's on the Northern Southern border of Ontario, not the Southern Southern border of Ontario. As such, it is obviously Northern to any versed in Torontonian geophysicography as well as I am.:)
  • by emptybody (12341) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @12:44PM (#8190526) Homepage Journal
    Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas.

    These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service.

    The advantage of this approach, said Wyant, is that instead of being tied to home with cable or DSL service, a power-line subscriber with a wireless card can use the service anywhere in Sault Ste. Marie that's within range of an access point.


    INTERNET BACKBONE
    - connects to -
    medium-voltage power lines
    - connects to -
    wireless boxes
    - wirelessly transmits to/from -
    subscribers wifi devices.
  • "All of Canada is going to be the first installation of BS (Broadband Snow technology). As reported in the Toronto Star, wireless access points will be set up on top of snow hills, providing roaming capability throughout the country to all users."

    Seriously though, how can they say this is "BPL (Broadband Power Line technology)" when all they're doing is putting WAPs ONTOP of the power lines.
  • Is there any Ontario town that *isn't* northern?
  • by vhfer (643140) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @01:12PM (#8190856)
    BPL poses a threat to amateur radio, civil and law enforcement communications, and federal emergency management communications. And potentially any Part 15 electronics you got laying around the house.

    See that cool remote weather station widget you got, with the remote outdoor sensor? Probably uses 450 MHz to report the outside temp back to the main unit. Baby monitors. Cordless phones, except maybe digital spread spectrum ones. Wireless burglar alarms. Etc etc etc.

    All exist by the grace of FCC rules, part 15, which says, "This device must not cause any interference to any other device, and must accept any interference from any other device." That means that if you pay money for it, get it home, and the RF hash from the BPL outside your window blankets the range used by it, and it's useless, you got nobody to cry to. Refer to part 15, FCC rules.

    Ok, now, Ham Radio, licensed under part 95 (or part 97? Can never keep that straight) is DIFFERENT. There are specific portions of spectrum carved out and devoted to amateur radio as PRIMARY use bands. If you are not licensed by the FCC under part 95, and you interfere in one of those bands, YOU are required to shut it down.

    Lo and behold! BPL in the US is a Part 15 licensee. Guess what? A ham files a notice with the FCC and East Podunk Power Light & Internet needs to punch the buttons that shift the BPL carrier to another set of bands. Then the country sheriff's non-trunked 435 MHz (or whatever) radios become useless in certain areas. A few more notices, a few more shifts, and if they can't stay out of bands they don't belong in without radiating all over the place, and the FCC shows up and says, "Turn it off."

    And how tight and non-radiating do you think those rusty bolts and cable clamps are, out in the weather, some of which were last inspected in 1952? Not very, I'll wager. Ever stand near (not UNDER!) a high-voltage distribution tower in wet weather and hear the continuous sizzle? And you think THATS RFI tight??

    Call me dubious.

    • What does the FCC have to do with a Canadian outfit, like the one mentioned? Yes, the Canadian government has their own equivilant to the FCC, but the rules arn't identical, so your siting is pretty much irrelavant.

      Beleive it or not, US law is not applicable outside of the US.

      • What does the FCC have to do with a Canadian outfit, like the one mentioned? Yes, the Canadian government has their own equivilant to the FCC, but the rules arn't identical, so your siting is pretty much irrelavant.
        In this case, as the technology was developed by Amperion [amperion.com] of Andover, MA and Columbus, OH, and is being pushed quite hard by them in the US, what the huge market of the US does and thus what the FCC says could make or break them. The Canadian test is just a small market probe.

        Personally I thi
  • RFC3251 - Electricity over IP

    http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3251.txt [ietf.org]

    Now THAT'S a beast I would like to see implemented!
  • The Amperion system uses 3.5 Mhz channels for the downstream channel, and 2.5 Mhz channels for the upstream, both of which are in the 1 to 50 Mhz band. The "last one hundred feet" from the powerline to the customer is WiFi 802.11.

    Amperion is a clever system, but in the end it has the smae problems as it counterparts. Because of the need to use different frequencies between repeater segments, it's likely that in any given neighborhood, they'll need to use every chunk of the 1-50Mhz spectrum and will int
  • Hope it isn't this guy [wired.com] doing the installing.

  • Article Quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goody (23843) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @02:04PM (#8191532) Journal
    "Our service can reach into areas that others don't, because the power network is the most pervasive on the planet. It's where the phones aren't and the cable isn't."

    This is wrong. BPL is not a long haul technology. It needs to go through repeaters every 200m, depending on the vendor. The economics for deploying this where cable service doesn't exist isn't there, and is infintessimal where phone service doesn't exist. In fact, it's likely they'll have to use telco facilities or fiber to backhaul the data from BPL segments.

    Everyone seems to be under the impression that you plug this in to the grid and voila, fifty miles away you have Internet on every wall plug. This is just not so.

  • by vrmlguy (120854) <samwyse@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 05, 2004 @02:31PM (#8191926) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm, the Internet seems a bit slow today. Let me check my connection.... ZZZAAAPPP!!!!

    Uh, the... internet... has... been... very... good... to... me...

  • "Our service can reach into areas that others don't, because the power network is the most pervasive on the planet. It's where the phones aren't and the cable isn't."
    Not to mention, we'll save a FORTUNE avoiding tech support calls from the people without phones... :-)
  • by Yeroc (125826) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @03:45PM (#8192999) Homepage
    Unfortunately, this isn't going to be a solution for "Last Mile" broadband in rural areas. As the article notes this is only being deployed in high population density areas in the city using wireless access points to get from the medium voltage lines to the homes. Of course out in rural areas you would end up with one wireless access point serving one household which is unlikely to be economical...
  • Geography? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bad Axe Exile (749520) on Thursday February 05, 2004 @04:58PM (#8194027)
    Sault Ste. Marie... Northern Michigan, SOUTHERN Ontario. and Int'l border.
  • Of Phil and Tony Esposito, Prince Township and Groscap. Good that it is happening to my old home town. North of SSM Michigan there are more than just Moose, miss treated Natives, and dumb American tourists! Now if we have the insight to ban Xbox, spam, and email with virus attachments traffic on it it might just work! If you are going to create an alternative to the mess on the net today, getting alittle hostile might be the only answer.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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