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Swiss firm pioneers Internet access using electricity supply

Powerline house network (picture: Powerline)

The Bern-based Ascom group says it has moved a step closer towards connecting people to the Internet through the electricity supply.

Swiss firm pioneers Internet access using electricity supply

The Bern-based Ascom group says it has moved a step closer towards connecting people to the Internet through the electricity supply.

Ascom said on Tuesday that it had received a long-term order to supply modems and network management to RWE Powerline, a subsidiary of the German utility, RWE, which has been testing the system for several months.

A statement from Ascom said the first Powerline Communications products would be put on the market in Germany.

"We are delighted that together with RWE Powerline, Ascom can start the commercial launch of Powerline in Europe's largest market," said new Ascom chief executive, Urs Fischer.

"For Ascom, this is yet another milestone in the expansion of the technological leadership in this market sector," he added.

The Powerline technology is several times faster than telephone modems or ISDN lines. With it, customers can access the Internet from any power supply socket in their homes.

It requires no special cabling and access is "always on-line" so that the user no longer has to waste time dialling into the network.

Ascom said the first products for private households would be presented by RWE Powerline at the forthcoming CeBit 2000 exhibition in the German city of Hanover.

swissinfo with agencies


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