Europe charges up powerline internet access

The European Commission is spending €9.6 million to develop the next generation of powerline technology - using national electricity grids to carry broadband access.

The Open PLC European Research Alliance (Opera) will use the funding to rollout and to test how well the low-cost internet access works for high data rate applications such as telephony and video-on-demand.

Opera now uses specifications based on Spanish chipmaker DS2, who said the funding is a major step forward for powerline communications. "The level of industry cooperation and support has been overwhelming, allowing OPERA to produce a specification that meets the requirements imposed by global electricity companies,' said Victor Dominguez, director of strategy and standardisation at DS2.