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Old 02-06-2004, 02:00 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default Sault Ste. Marie Makes High-Speed Power Play: Internet Piped Over Electric Grid

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='' target='_blank'></a><br /><br /></div>"Sault Ste. Marie, known largely as a northern Ontario steel town, is set to become the first municipality in Canada to offer residential high-speed Internet service through the power grid. Local energy supplier PUC Inc. hopes other hydro utilities will follow its lead and give cable and telephone companies a jolt of competition.<br /><br />...This is appealing to hydro companies that are looking for new sources of revenue but don't want to invest heavily in new telecommunications facilities. Virtually every home and office is wired for electricity, so every building has the potential to access the Internet and other data services through medium-voltage power lines. Speed of service generally equals or exceeds cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) products."<br /><br />The promise of high-speed networking over power lines has been talked about for at least five years, but this is one of the few implementations of this type that I've seen. Go Canada! :mrgreen: Do any of you live in an area where this type of Internet access is an option?
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:15 AM
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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.
Interesting! I wonder what kind of authentication they'll use.
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:30 AM
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I know there are some places here in Brazil (some condos in Rio and São Paulo) that are implementing this kind of access... still somewhat experimental I guess.

It could be the easiest and potentially cheapest form of access, I just worry if my fridge might catch a virus of some kind
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:58 AM
Jorj Bauer
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Originally Posted by bspline
It could be the easiest and potentially cheapest form of access, I just worry if my fridge might catch a virus of some kind
BPL is a *bad* idea, but the general public don't know about the pitfalls. The politicians and businessmen concentrate on the moneymaking side of the technology, and as a result it looks like a good thing for everyone.

In actuality, BPL creates an incredible amount of RF interference. The power lines act as huge antennas, helping to transmit the interference.

Most people brush off the issue when they hear that it will primarily affect amateur radio operators. But the amateur radio operators are officially licensed (under Part 97) to use their technology, and BPL is licensed as a Part 15 operation by the FCC (it's similarly licensed in Canada). This means that any amateur radio operator has been granted priority to use their communications, and *may not* be interfered with by a Part 15 device. The amateur radio operators complain to the FCC, and the FCC is obligated to find the offending device and have its operator shut it down.

There are other consequences, too. Any 47 MHz cordless phones, X-10 wireless remotes (especeially keychain dongles) and remote control car toys are virtually guaranteed to succumb to the RF put off by BPL. These devices must accept the interference because they're also covered under Part 15.

This is to say nothing of the other actual licensed uses. The military, for example, has communications gear that runs in this part of the spectrum. I'm sure they'll have something to say about it the first time that BPL causes them to miss some important communication.

And just to say it again: the Canadian radio licensing scheme is nearly identical to the US. The same threats apply.

For more information about BPL, including real engineers' test reports, take a look at the ARRL's web site.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:12 AM
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Default BPL==Bad Idea.

I will side with the other poster. Some people think that BPL is a good idea because they are convinced by the powers that be that thos will get Broadband to the rural areas. It MAY do this but it will cause more harmful interference to amateur radio, that local police department still on an old radio system, FRS radio and pretty much every other RF device. The main problem with BPL is that you have to look at who will be managing it....the power companies. Ever been near a powerline and hear all kinds of racket on your local talk radio am station? This can be caused by a transformer or some other part of the line that is going bad. THAT and powerlines are usually not all. Just a thin layer of insulation. BPL will leak alll over everything. Our government still uses HF radio and Amateur Radio depends on it. BPL will also affect homeland security as the ARRL has just inked a deal making Radio Amatuers a part of the Homeland Security plan. There is also better ways of getting this to rural areas and the people who want and need broadband in rural areas can get it via satellite and if they really need it, and have the money, they can always order a T-1 and I am sure the phone company would help. The point is, alot of rural folks don't give a crap about internet access. They are just as happy as pie using a dial up.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:48 AM
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Yes i'm all for broadband everywhere, but when broadband affects my ability to communicate then something must be done. Many people just shrug it off with thoughts that it's just us ham operators who are complaining, but it's others as well. The red cross is having issues with bpl as well. It's no coincidence that many countries have stopped bpl deployment because of the interference it introduces.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:02 AM
Jason Dunn
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Wow....quite the eye-opening information. Thanks guys! 8O
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:35 AM
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I think the greater good should come into play. Every house NEEDS broadband if we are to develop as a society. IF this is the best way to do it quickly I'd happily look the other way. The devices experiencing difficulties can just change bands.
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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This was tested in Finland as well and they got it working. But the problems were similar than explained here, interference, data loss..

The idea about five years ago was to provide internet to the areas that couldn't have one because of the restrictions of asdl technology (as you might know, Finland is very similar to Canada; nordic country with people living in long distance between each other). However, in the last five years all the other technologies have become available to everyone. If your village doesn't want to have ADSL installed, you can have instant access by GPRS from almost every location of the country.

I suppose this electrical thing will be buried in silence. If it hasn't been, already.

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Old 02-06-2004, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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It's already running over here in the UK on the South Coast. 1Mb link download AND Upload.

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