15 Feb 2004
February 2004, Kfar Saba, Israel - The European Union supports power line communications (PLC) to overcome technical hurdles and to promote greater competition in the broadband market.
The European Union formulated its “Broadband for All” program as part of its mission to unify and care for its European member state citizens. For speedy implementation of the program, it appointed its executive arm, the European Commission, as a key sponsor of the Open PLC European Research Alliance (OPERA).
Presently, more than 35 European energy companies, telecommunication equipment manufacturers, consultancies and universities joined the OPERA project as members. Their task it to detail the four-year OPERA project. The first phase, lasting two years, is aimed to develop a uniform European PLC standard.
The PLC technology transmits data signals over electricity lines. The technology is designed to support other applications, such as telephony, automatic meter reading, security and home-appliance networking.
Although PLC competes head-on with wire-based digital subscriber line and wireless LAN technologies in the local loop, the European commission is particularly keen to harness the technology to extend broadband service in structurally weak and rural areas. In OPERA, several PLC market leaders in different areas are heading key committees that will be working closely together with European and other international standardization bodies.
MainNet Communications has been appointed to chair the key technical committee for PLC systems.