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The Internet

Internet via the Power Grid, Again 262

Damon Campagna writes "This NYT article, Internet via the Power Grid: New Interest in Obvious Idea says the FCC is looking into power-line networking again. I thought this was pretty much debunked a couple years ago?"
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Internet via the Power Grid, Again

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  • Power Grid (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zephy ( 539060 ) <jonNO@SPAMaezis.net> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#5701674) Homepage
    The FCC Might have debunked it, but it seems to work over here. Some companies have started large scale trials [theregister.co.uk]. 2000kbps might not be a lot over there but it's still faster than the 512k/1024k that's the norm over here.
    • Re:Power Grid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gobbo ( 567674 ) <wrewrite @ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:55AM (#5701751) Journal
      The primary difference in the ease of deploying IP over A/C is with the differing electrical infrastructure in NorthAmerica as opposed to the U.K. (and possibly other regions, don't know about that). In N.A. transformers were put all over the place in such a way that it presents a significant problem for getting a clean signal all the way down the line.
    • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:55AM (#5701760) Homepage
      2000kbps might not be a lot over there but it's still faster than the 512k/1024k that's the norm over here.

      Hmmm...most consumer broadband options are in the 500kbps area in the US too. If this stuff were to become viable, it would certainly shutup the damned telcos and their last mile, I expect, as it's already wired.

      I'm sure this is exactly what the current providers want, though. Not only do they have to compete with cable companies (and now satellite as well) to provide internet, now they have the frikkin' power company too. They're just lucky the power companies are too busy price-fixing to bother with this.

    • Every home has a transformer in front of it. Assuming it will probably be too inductive to couple the high freq internet signal then you have a separate means of getting the signal all the way to the transformer. and as long as you've gone that far well why not just run an extra 40 feet the house itself?

      on the otherhand I suppose that if one were to install special bridges (with packet switiches) across every transformer this might in principle be done over the power lines easier than laying new cables.

  • by wcbarksdale ( 621327 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:48AM (#5701675)
    The real future is in distribution of electricity over IP [ietf.org].
  • by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:51AM (#5701708)
    I thought this was pretty much debunked a couple years ago?

    ...And a year ago...And 6 months ago...And a month ago...And a week ago...And two days ago...
  • It works (Score:5, Informative)

    by GiMP ( 10923 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:51AM (#5701709)
    This is not only in trial in many places, but in full-scale production.

    Poland, for example, has been rolling out power-line internet for at least a year.
    • Re:It works (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @11:30AM (#5702619)
      I don't think whoever wrote the blurb for the story RTFA on it being debunked last time.

      What was debunked is the idea that if you burn lots of money, break a few laws of physics, engineer electronic devices that can modulate information transmissions at rates orders of magnitude faster than the best we've got right now (but will cost under $60 apiece), and break a few more laws of physics, you can transmit data over the power grid in the exobit range. (That's thousands of gigabits.)

      Other companies that aren't scams have had much more modest success. The idea works, the problem is finding a way to make it financially workable, too.
      • Terabits are thousands of gigabits. Petabits are millions of gigabits. Exobits are billions of gigabits (ie, 1 quintillion or 1e15 bits per second)

        Just in case it wasn't clear what level of ridiculous claims he was actually making.
    • This is not only in trial in many places, but in full-scale production.

      A friend works at a company called Satius [satius.com]. They are working on power-line networking equipment, and he mentioned how most of their sales are overseas. Apparently there are more competing technologies in the U.S., so the interest level isn't as high as overseas.

    • Re:It works (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @11:49AM (#5702805) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, and it's in limited use in the US. It does require a fairly clean power system that doesn't mess up the imposed RF signal, including not "cleaning up" the power by filtering the RF signal out. And it requires that all your electronic gear have power supplies that do filter out the RF signal (or a device that does it that's plugged into the wall outlet). I've worked in a couple of development labs where we did exactly this. But these requirements pretty much rule it out for most commercial power systems.

      But the main evidence that the story was about a con job was the quote

      By piggybacking on this magnetic field, instead of on the electricity itself, he could obtain almost limitless speeds of transmission. [emphasis from the article]

      This clearly implies cluelessness. Now, you might not expect a manager type to understand what's wrong with this statement. But you'd expect that they'd have some EEs on their payroll, and an EE's basic reaction to such a statement would be to snicker and say "Yeah; right."

      Any manager who continues saying such things after a few minutes discussing it with their EEs is clearly involved in a con, and knows it. In his next con, he's gonna market a truck that doesn't damage the roads like other trucks do. His explanation will be that trucks do their damage by harming the base that the road is built on. But his trucks only drive on the surface of the road, so they won't damage the roadbed at all.

      (Hmmm ... Maybe I shouldn't suggest that. Someone will decide it's a good idea, take out a patent, and start marketing it ...)

      Yeah, you can transmit data by piggybacking it on power lines. But making it work on a legacy power system is gonna be expensive. Ripping out the system and building a new one would probably be cheaper in many (if not most) existing systems.

      • I don't see why you would need filters on all your other equipment. Everything that needs a filter (electronics) runs on DC and has some level of power filtering in the power supply. I would think that the networking signal's voltage fluctuation and frequencies used would mean that it wouldn't interfere with the operation of dumb loads like lightbulbs, blenders, etc.
        • Well, you wouldn't need filters on all of your equipment. Light bulbs and blenders will do just fine with an AC power supply that has an RF signal added.

          Well, actually some blenders might not do fine. Some of them now have IC controllers, and the major problem with internet-over-wall-power is that the RF component will do "interesting" things to the sanity of a lot of cheap consumer electronic devices. Quality electronic gadgets will have a power supply that filters out the higher frequencies. But blen
      • "This clearly implies cluelessness. Now, you might not expect a manager type to understand what's wrong with this statement. But you'd expect that they'd have some EEs on their payroll, and an EE's basic reaction to such a statement would be to snicker and say "Yeah; right.""

        Who's this Maxwell guy and why do I keep hearing about these equations of his?
  • by muyuubyou ( 621373 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:51AM (#5701713)
    0 A = SomeElectrical.stockShares(); 1 A.Buy();

    2 echo("we can use the electrical grid to carry data at speeds faster than we've ever seen");

    3 A.Sell();

    4 Debunk(2);

    5 GOTO 1;
  • Prior art? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AccUser ( 191555 ) <.ku.oc.esoat. .ta. .ghm.> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:53AM (#5701731) Homepage
    Using the power grid for internet access is a great idea, provided that they don't later claim prior art on the use of sockets.
    • Simply remove the www of the original url and replace it with archive, works for all NYT articles as far as i know.

      • Anyone know of a way in Proxmitron to set up a filter to do the swapping for me?
        • I am not 100% sure, but you could use a hosts entry to bounce the www request off the web server of your choice. Then use a redirect on that web server from www.nytimes.com to archive.nytimes.com. Just use a variable for anything after the .com part and you can click on any link and get the archive version.

          Of course, once they figure that out, you'll find yourself on the block list. But if you dont use it much they may not spot you.
  • Redundant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:55AM (#5701754) Homepage

    Most homes have powerlines, phone and TV cables going inside. These three mediums, add radio, are the obvious ones to deliver internet through.

    So if the momentum has built for DSL and Cable, why push for the third option too? It all started with DSL, but the telcom companies squeezed things till the development on Cable started. Now, at least here in Toronto, the same Telcom companies are squeezing both these mediums, thus pushing for the possibilities on power lines.

    Ideally, cities should have fibre lines going into homes controlled by a government department, that allows private companies to deliver the Internet and not compete with them.
    • Re:Redundant (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mrtroy ( 640746 )
      Redundancy is the best way to go!

      Look at a RAID...it makes use of a large number of slow storage to make one fast storage system!

      Maybe the true future lies in redundancy, having the Internet over all 3 will allow for the most reliable and fastest service!

      I, for one, would call it DUMB (da unusual method biotch)
    • Re:Redundant (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <ChristianHGross@nOspaM.yahoo.ca> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:05AM (#5701837)
      Speak for yourself guy. You know there are a large number of people who cannot get Cable or DSL... These people are stuck, with well 56K. This would be wonderful if it actually worked. BTW I am talking from a place that is 15 KM from a DSL and Cable connection. 15 KM, not 100 KM or 200 KM, but 15KM and nothing has changed in five years!!!!
      • Re:Redundant (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MojoRilla ( 591502 )
        The irony here is that for the very reason you cannot get DSL or cable service, you might not also be able to get powerline service. You might be too far from the central office.
    • Re:Redundant (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stripes ( 3681 )
      So if the momentum has built for DSL and Cable, why push for the third option too?

      Because there are lots of places that don't have DSL, or IP over Cable TV...and even more places that don't have both. It's nice to have something avilable, but even nicer to have more then one thing so they can compete...

      • then there are places like here that have only cable and wireless (which is out of the acceptable price range).

        15 miles from downtown Minneapolis and I can only get Comcast. What a crock of crap. My parents live in Northeast PA (10 miles from fucking Scranton, PA) and they have DSL and Cable.

        Hmm.
    • Re:Redundant (Score:3, Insightful)

      by praedor ( 218403 )

      DSL and cable are NOT the answer. They are fine if you live in a city but if you are rural you are SOL. Satellite is NOT a real option. Pricey and limited in usefulness. The only option left for rural individuals is powerline.


      I frickin' want a broadband connection that doesn't break the bank and doesn't suffer major latency issues. I see no option but some form of powerline transmission. Wireless is not an option for most rural people.

      • Rural areas are perfect for WiFi...
        • Rural areas are perfect for WiFi...

          I lived in Illinois once, for a couple years, and WiFi would be great in the part of the state I was in. Few trees to speak of, and the land was so flat the overpass was called a "hill". Try visiting upstate NY sometime, where most of the rural dwellers can't see their neighbors because a big hill's in the way. Likewise for most of the rest of the east coast, and the west coast too. WiFi is great on a large scale if you're in a city, or a rural area with wide open fl

    • It all started with DSL, but the telcom companies squeezed things till the development on Cable started.

      Really? In the city where I live internet over cable was available years before DSL. But only one cable provider implemented it, they did however offer amazing speeds of up to 4mbit/sec the first few years. Then they started a commercial campaign stating that they were simply the best provider, which was true at that time. They no longer are the best. Their prices have increased while their speed have
    • why push for the third option too?

      • DSL is the the only reason I have a phone line (my cell phone plan has enough minutes to cover all my voice calls). It would be nice to be able to drop that
      • Phone lines and CATV lines don't necessarily come into the house where I want the computer. I've got power sockets all over the place
      • Both DSL and cable have limitations that power lines might not have
  • Huh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Geekenstein ( 199041 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:56AM (#5701763)
    So the next time I shock myself, I might get some pr0n too?

    With my luck, my hair will probably just stand up in the form of an x10 popup ad....sigh.
  • no registration (Score:5, Informative)

    by HeyBob! ( 111243 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:56AM (#5701765)
    trick learned from a previous post:
    replace www with archive to avoid the registration
    link [nytimes.com]
    • Re:no registration (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrtroy ( 640746 )
      Can slashdot posters/modders make sure that the actual article gets posted this way

      instead of modding down a GOOD post and ignoring this time after time with NYT posts
      • It's because, obviously, NYT is paying Slashdot not to. Slashdot does accept corporate sponsors.

        This also explains why we have so many articles about new Apple toys, new O'Reilly books, etc. Slashdot is not, and doesn't claim to be, impartial. And the sponsors aren't just limited to the banners and big-ass square ads around here . . . the content, too, is for sale.

        • Slashdot does accept corporate sponsors.

          Then who the hell is paying for all these Microsoft ads on Slashdot? Is Taco running them for free, to make up for all the MS bashing he does?
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:58AM (#5701782) Homepage
    Wires to house carrying electricity can definitely carry communication. Just because the FCC debunked one lunatic's theory as being garbage does not mean that the product can not be made.

    Their is nothing in the concept that fundamentally contradicts laws of nature, so it can be done, we just have to figure out how to do it efficently.

    • It can be done, but the same fundamental laws of nature also explain why the electricity grid is going to radiate like hell.
      In short it is possible, but not without pissing of everyboddy that is currently using the RF spectrum.
      The power grid was never ment for this...

      Jeroen
      • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @11:05AM (#5702397) Homepage
        No. You are assuming WAY to much. A better way to say it is:

        In short it is possible, but using the relatively insensitive machines that were proposed once before, without changing the specs of the power currently being transferd, the signal would have to be so strong that the electricity grid would radiate excessively, And the proposed means of shielding that raditaion is so expensive so as not to be worth it.

        It CAN be donel. You do realize that your phone's run off of the electriicty supplied by the phone line (I.e. unless your phone has an answering machine it does not need to be plugged in.)

        There are 3 Barriers to doing it, and if we conquer ANY one of those barriers we can do it: [li]Use far more sensitive reading and writing mechanisms (or a dramitcally different method). [li]Use good RF shielding on the power lines [li]Change the power grid specs dramatically.

        While changing the shield or the power grid specs dramatically would require a massive revision of our powergrid, the first option is VERY likely to occure with the next 10 years, if it has not already happened, and will not be expensive or require masive upgrades.

  • Radio Interference (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kinnell ( 607819 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:58AM (#5701783)
    There are already trials going on in Scotland for IP over power lines, which aparently have been very successful. The only problem is that RF engineers are up in arms over the interference caused by transmitting high frequency signals through overhead power lines. They may have a point - the RF spectrum is a precious resource, and it would be a shame to waste it to save a bit of effort laying cables.
  • Competition (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeowulfSchaeffer ( 588150 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:02AM (#5701818)
    If this helps lower the cost of high speed access, I am all for it. If AMD were not making chips, we would still be paying $600 for a PII 300. Competition is good.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Everyone knows about the problems with pylons acting as transmitters but there is actually another reason why the electricity grid is highly unsuitable for transmitting information over.

    The problem is that the higher frequency signal you used for the data transfer slightly distorts the 50HZ sine wave used to carry the power. Now for a lot of appliences this isn't a problem but for applications where a pure current is important (high end hi-fi comes to mind) this will severly impact on the performance of t
  • What was debunked was some scam artist's idea of transmitting data not through the power line, but the EM field generated by the power line. Using wires to transmit data is a solid idea, using EM waves as a waveguide is not. Please, RTFA!
  • Article in Spiegel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _pruegel_ ( 581143 )
    There was an article [spiegel.de] in German Spiegel magazine just three days ago mentioning some problems with radios which pick up the powerline noise. It talks about not releasing an "poorly conceived and dirty technology" to the public and that it might not be released in Germany at all because of the interference. Siemens, E.on, RWE and others canceled their projects.
  • I've got it .. (Score:3, Informative)

    by martins99 ( 168363 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:08AM (#5701877)

    Our house with appartments have it installed. I think the contract said something about 2Mbit and not for too much money either.

    The reason I didn't get it was their contract, you are allowed to do anything. No servers, no DNS-name pointing to your machine etc etc. Who wants to pay for that? :-/
  • by Jack William Bell ( 84469 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:08AM (#5701879) Homepage Journal
    Hmm... Being as many power companies are actually public utilities...

    OK. Here is an interesting idea. What if the power-line networking is not only available to homes and businesses, but wireless access points are put on poles in such a way as to cover most public spaces. You pay for the access points (and their maintenance) via a small tax on the home connection and/or power bill. Now there is 'Internet Everywhere' [slashdot.org], which in my opinion is valuable even if it isn't particuarily fast.

    The best part is that every town and city where the power company is a public utility could cause this to happen via a grass roots effort to put the idea to a vote, much the same way you would do a library assessment. We wouldn't need to get the politicians on board, which might be difficult if they are getting campain contributions from telnet companies.

    Would this work? Not just "Is it technically feasable?" But "Is it something people would actually vote for?"

  • What was debunked was that loon's theory of using a maser to use the magnetic fields surrounding a power grid as a wave guide.

    Companies like Current Solutions are being much more conservative, and I think have a much greater chance of success, by providing a last-mile solution. Their system starts with what they call a "backhaul point" that bridges the system to an off-the-shelf IP network, then uses couplers to distribute that system to a local network of homes. One set of devices may wire a chunk of 10 or 20 homes, and they still need a modem at their end.

    In a transformer-less network this would be a no-brainer, but the real question for me is whether it's cost-effective. I'm sure it is if (as I'm positive it says in their business plan) you assume 100% adoption, but if only 4 homes out of twenty adopt the service can they still make money? Cable and phone companies still beat them on that economy of scale - many more customers per switch.

    -----

    • In a transformer-less network this would be a no-brainer, but the real question for me is whether it's cost-effective. I'm sure it is if (as I'm positive it says in their business plan) you assume 100% adoption, but if only 4 homes out of twenty adopt the service can they still make money? Cable and phone companies still beat them on that economy of scale - many more customers per switch.

      Do you mean 'money', or 'hand-over-fists money'?

      If a venture is profitable (i.e., can cover costs of capitalization, o
  • ...with my computer, I have a choice of unplugging the net connection if I don't like it for whatever reason. But if the connection is both always-on, and through the same feed that I need to power the computer in the first place, I lose another bit of control over my own equipment. And yes, I always have my computer connected anyway, and yes I have a firewall. But I would not want for example my TV to be connected to the internet (so it can transmit the programs I watch). And with internet over the power
    • I hope you're joking :)

      Just because the network connection arrives through the power lines doesn't mean it will enter your PC through the power supply! There's bound to be some sort of decoding/demuxing box at the power entry point in your house, and you'd plug the network connection into that.
  • by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:33AM (#5702109) Homepage Journal

    There is a related article [com.com] today on C|Net via Reuters:
    The head of the Federal Communications Commission gave his blessing on Wednesday to an emerging technology that would provide high-speed Internet service through power lines.

    FCC Chairman Michael Powell toured a house in suburban Maryland that had been set up to showcase the new service, which transmits e-mail, Web pages, telephone service and other data over the existing power grid and through standard electrical outlets.

    In the living room, Powell listened to an Internet radio broadcast and watched the movie "Ice Age" on a flat-screen 42-inch television streaming from another computer miles away.


    ComputerUser.com has a longer and more detailed article [computeruser.com].

    As a Marylander who despises ComCast, I'm hopeful !

  • by Vinnie_333 ( 575483 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:37AM (#5702151)
    There are still, at this point, too many regulatory issues with this for it to be passed. True, the FCC is conducting a dozen or so field tests, but if they get serious about it they will issue a notice of intent to get comments from the people concerned.
  • by Johku ( 74195 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:39AM (#5702178)

    Couple of weeks ago I saw a short data-over-power-grid demonstration in Finnish television. They demonstrated how you could connect an IP telephone to power outlet and make a phone call through power grid. I think their idea was that it is easier for them to provide functionality similar to the telephone network than vice versa (when talking about last mile solutions).

    The topic has been quite frequently up in Finnish media because Turku Energia [turkuenergia.fi] (home page in Finnish) has been selling their new data-ower-power-grid product to consumers since January.

  • by djh101010 ( 656795 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:42AM (#5702193) Homepage Journal
    At last - a way to get back at spammers. Read the headers, do some digging, and WHAM - 14,000 volts right to 'em.
  • by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <yoda&etoyoc,com> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:46AM (#5702222) Homepage Journal
    How many of you remember those heathkit intercoms? They carried your voice over the power lines inside of the house by modulating them at a higher frequency that 60 hz. The reciever, of course, was a simple 60Hz filter attached to an amp.

    It worked quite well, especially since it had a built in power source. Gotta wonder why more folks aren't running the LAN off of this principle.

    Though if you were going to do this on any large scale, you MIGHT want to equip your appliances with a band-pass filter to prevent the higher frequency signals from interfering with your switching power supplies.

    It won't work for any large organization, unless someone can figure out a way to implement packet switching. Your collision rate would be terrible with everybody connected to a giant dumb hub. I'm pretty sure the same traffic protocols used for wireless would solve this problem too.

  • I don't see how this could be economically viable in a large scale. Not that it's not possible in small highly controlled circumstances. If a city decided to upgrade it's electical infrastructure to allow this then sure. But it seems like to make this work on *any* electrical lines would be tremendously difficult.

    Can it be done? Yes. Will this be the cure-all for rural broadband? Probably not. Not because it's not possible but because the $$$ won't make it worth the capital outlays it would require.
  • by Maeryk ( 87865 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:54AM (#5702290) Journal
    PP&L (pennsylvania power and light) has been testing this here for a few months. I tried hard to get in on the pilot, but I dont live in the right geographical location.

    Turns out it is my ISP handling the broadband end anyway, and as I already have DSL through them, it probably wouldnt make much difference. The speeds that PP&L quoted me are just about the same as the DSL speeds I am already getting.

    So its not "debunked" its just not controlled by the FCC at the moment.

    Maeryk
  • Scottish Hydro (Score:5, Informative)

    by cruachan ( 113813 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:56AM (#5702313)
    Are running a series of trials, one in Crieff - a small town about 20 miles from where I sit. Given British Telecom's ridiculous criteria for only installing ADSL where there is 'sufficient demand'* there's been a great deal of interest in the Scottish Highlands and Borders for alternative suppliers. Scottish Enterprise have some info at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/sedotcom_home/s ervices-to-business/broadband/broadband-news_event s/broadband-projects/broadband-power_line_trial.ht m

    *British Telecom regularly seem to leave something to be desired when it comes to 'public service'. A friend of mine has this story about how he recently installed an ADSL modem for a business in the centre of Glasgow - a city of nearly two million people. Naturally he assumed that ADSL would be available so neglected to explicitly check, and he was consequently scunnered when BT told him that it wasn't available due to 'insufficient demand'. Apparently the local exchange serviced quite a small area, and one where there was a disproportionate number of warehouses and areas under redevelopment, so despite being right in the middle of the city it had not met BT's criteria. Fortunatly given where they were the embaressment factor was sufficiently high that BT upgraded the exchange anyway, but it just demonstrates what we're up against.
    • Given British Telecom's ridiculous criteria for only installing ADSL where there is 'sufficient demand'

      I suspect that BTs refusal probably has more to do with their dislike of haggis [smart.net].

      Obligatory haggis joke now over, we return you to your normal programming.

  • early variation... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rusty0101 ( 565565 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @11:26AM (#5702592) Homepage Journal
    Don't know if you have noticed it, but the power company has not been sending out nearly as many meter readers as they have in the past. Rural Electric Co-ops have not needed to send out cards for the customer to write down the meter readings and send back either.

    Why? Because the various electric companies have been replacing their meters with new meters that report back what the current reading is, over the electric lines themselves. Granted this does not require high bandwidth connectivity, but when you consider the number of meters involved, it is unlikely to be operating at 110 bps either.

    -Rusty
  • it's just a wire (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @11:46AM (#5702779)
    "I thought this was pretty much debunked [wired.com] a couple years ago?"

    The article you reference talks about a particular scammer .... i mean entrepreneur... and his particular invention which would have brought endless bandwidth at light speed to power lines. The physics seemed a little screwy on that "invention", but this is just old fashioned sending a signal down a wire. So nothing new here in physics circles.

    This has more to do with business and legal issues than new technology. Just happens that power companies already have big cables running to every home (right of way) and they are just trying to figure out an economical way to use them for telecom. Just as the cable companies did. Except the electrical distribution grid is not as easy to convert as the cable networks were.
  • But what about all my X-10 equipment in my house? Won't this mess up the signal that my light switches are using?

    Note to moderators: This post is both Funny, AND informative. Despite X-10's annoying pop-ups, there are LOTS of people who use X-10 in the real world.

  • Media Fusion was a scam, data over powerlines is now.
  • The old fassion way of checking for a link without those fancy LEDs is to stick your toung to the wire and see if there is link. With it over the power this could be hazorus. Oh well I guess it is a new way to impove the echonomy by getting rid of the people who would actually do that to chack for a link.
  • I'd rather get my internet connection from the local power company than through either BellSouth or Cox.
  • Remember, gigabit-over-copper was onced debunked. Before that, it was 100Mb-over-copper that was debunked.

    Never understimate the creativity of a sufficiently-funded engineer.
  • Uh, one particular harebrained idea of using magnetic fields rather then actually electrical signals was debunked, not the idea of power-line IP service.
  • UPS Uses It Now in the US!

    Hasn't anyone seen their new commercial, where they talk about package tracking data flowing "over these lines", and the picture in the background is high tension power lines, because the marketing department couldn't find stock film footage of a fly-by of an underground fiber optic cable?

    8-) 8-) 8-).

    -- Terry

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

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