Power industry watchdog okays PLC technology

27 Aug 2009

Brazil’s national watchdog for the power industry, Aneel, has approved the use of Power Line Communications (PLC) technology for the delivery of broadband internet services. The decision follows the thumbs-up from the national telecoms regulator Anatel earlier this year. On 6 April CommsUpdate reported that Anatel had approved PLC technology, allowing for the transmission of broadband internet signals via utility firms’ power grid networks. The decision is designed to bolster universal broadband access in the country, redressing the fact that fixed line operators’ infrastructure currently only covers 62% of locations, whereas electricity supplies are available in virtually all households. One PLC start-up AES Eletropaulo, is reportedly preparing to launch a large scale PLC internet access trial offering an average 10Mbps connection. Meanwhile, Copel Telecom, part of the Company Paranaense de Energia group, is more advanced with its rollout, and claims to be ready to launch a commercial service to end-users offering a 10Mbps connection. A third player, Cemig’s Infovia unit, is also testing PLC and says it is ‘ready to offer broadband through [its] network of 6.5 million customers’.