Power utility Meralco to test BPL technology

16 Jul 2009

Filipino power utility Manila Electric Company, or Meralco as it is also known, is reportedly planning to use its electricity grid to deliver high speed internet access services via broadband over power line (BPL) technology. TMCnet writes the firm is initially looking to roll out pilot trials in the Malabon area, with Meralco chief information officer Martin L Lopez quoted as saying ‘[this] is really very challenging for us, in terms of pilferage, population and the old system. If the test turns out successful there, we are confident that we can do it anywhere in the system.’ Dependent on the success of the pilot Meralco will decide on the scope and coverage of its commercial BPL project. The company has not disclosed which firms are supplying equipment for the tests, but has said it is partnering with a European company ‘for equipment and technical expertise.’ Meralco currently sells electricity to about 24 million people in Manila and its surrounding provinces. Its BPL announcement comes just four months after the country’s dominant telco Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) and its pension fund became the largest shareholder in Meralco with a combined 30.17% stake (about 20% for PLDT).