High-speed internet access via the electricity grid, a EU Commission recommendation

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Mon Apr 11 10:08:00 CDT 2005

Today in Europe

News from the Commission


8 April 2005

High-speed internet access via the electricity grid

 Using electric power supply lines to offer low-cost high speed internet 
access will be made easier thanks to a Commission recommendation 
issued today.

 The Commission intends to boost competition by opening up the market to 
new suppliers of high-speed “broadband” connections via the electricity 
grid. Internet access via power lines has so far taken hold in only a 
few urban areas, but the potential is huge: the EU has 200 million power 
lines running directly into houses, schools and businesses.

 The recommendation will clarify rules on using electric power cables to 
carry electronic communication data.  It also recommends that member 
states remove any unjustified regulatory obstacles, in particular from 
utility companies, on the deployment of broadband power line 
communications systems.

 “Affordable high-speed internet access is vital to sustain EU 
competitiveness in many businesses, large and small. I want to make sure 
that suppliers can exploit all technological possibilities, and that we 
combine forces in Europe to boost broadband deployment,” commented 
information society and media Commissioner Viviane Reding.

 Energy market liberalisation across the EU is creating new 
opportunities for power utility companies to exploit their existing 
power supply cables to create an alternative broadband supply route. In 
many cases, uncertainty about the rules governing this market has been a 
barrier to entry. To ensure that the rules are clear, the Commission has 
discussed the recommendation, and arrangements for implementing it, at 
length with EU member states.

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