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Low voltage plan to bring the Internet into every home

The Ascom telecommunications group reports that it is extending its field trials in one of the most future-oriented technologies - telecommunications over low-voltage power supply cables.

This content was published on March 23, 2000 - 16:01

The Ascom telecommunications group reports that it is extending its field trials in one of the most future-oriented technologies - telecommunications over low-voltage power supply cables.

The new technology, known as Powerline Communications (PLC) is considered promising for connecting households, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

PLC offers fast access to telecommunications networks, with its speed 20 times as fast as ISDN, a factor which is particularly important when working with the Internet.

In a statement from its headquarters in Berne, Ascom said that PLC would offer new services such as remote controls, home automation and security technology, as well as saving on the costly installation of telecommunications cabling in the home.

"With PLC, every power socket also becomes a telecommunications socket," the statement added.

"Particularly in countries where only a low percentage of the population has a telephone connection, Powerline Communications can allow the telecommunications connections to be expanded via the power supply grid," Ascom said.

The company said it was planning to carry out trials in Brazil, a country in which only 24 per cent of the households have a telephone connection but more than 95 per cent are connected to the main supply network.

Ascom added that it had signed contracts for field trials with a total of 14 companies in 11 European countries and in Singapore, following successful testing in Germany.

"Using new equipment, the final practical experience is being gained in wide-ranging field trials before the series products are introduced on to the market in the spring of 2001," the statement said.

It explained that the field trials were needed because low-voltage supply grids varied from country to country in many technical, constructional and regulatory characteristics.

swissinfo with agencies

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