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Broadband Powerline Communications due a relaunch?

Fixed line Broadband Powerline Communications (PLC) - the technology capable of delivering broadband Internet access to buildings along existing national grid power cables - is to be trialled in Liverpool in 2011, five years after the technology was last used in the UK.

Liverpool announced plans for a 200Mbps ISP trial with 1,000 homes. It's understood that the trial is being run by Scottish Power and Plus Dane Homes.

Also known as Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), few, if any, countries have adopted it on any kind of national scale. In the UK, SSE Telecom was one of the first to pilot its use but it was unable to keep pace with faster and significantly cheaper copper-based ADSL solutions.

The UK government's announcement of its new national broadband strategy, "Britain's Superfast Broadband Future", at the start of December 2010, suggested those problems may have been overcome. The document made a single isolated mention of how PLC could be used in the UK, while also stressing some of its pitfalls.

Broadband Powerline (BPL) technology provides bi-directional transmission of consumption and control data in real time, turning existing electricity grids into an internet protocol-based communication platform. Every power line becomes a broadband data interface and power grids turn into intelligent systems.

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