Power Lines Planned To Carry Internet Traffic

The power lines that electrified rural America in the 1930s, via Franklin Roosevelt's Rural Electrification Act, could soon be bringing the Internet to those same locations, if a test program based in Nelson County, Va. proves successful. The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is partnering with Huntsville, Ala.

09/01/2004


The power lines that electrified rural America in the 1930s, via Franklin Roosevelt's Rural Electrification Act, could soon be bringing the Internet to those same locations, if a test program based in Nelson County, Va. proves successful. The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is partnering with Huntsville, Ala.-based International Broadband Electric Communications to bring broadband Internet service to an initial 1,000 homes.

Many rural areas are limited to dial-up Internet access. Even satellite wireless systems can be stymied by interference in mountainous locations, like those in Nelson County. However, previous broadband-over-power-line installations in Iowa have raised their own interference issues—the added Internet signals can disrupt ham-radio waves. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission has yet to rule on the technology's acceptability.





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