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AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

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AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

AT&T has discovered a way to deliver high-speed broadband over electrical power lines, a method it claims would make it cheaper and easier to bring internet to hard-to-reach places.The company has filed patents for the technology and is looking for a place to conduct field trials next year.Even if it goes well, AT&T warned it would still be several years before the system is commercially available.

http://www.pcmag.com/news/348044/at-t-airgig-to-test-broadband-over-power-lines
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com
14 REPLIES 14
Moderator

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

So like a giant powerline adapter? 
Advanced Tutor

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

May be. They're saying the signal propagates around the wires, not in them. 

There is a single-wire transmission technology, called a Goubau transmission line or "G-line." that's been around for a hundred years. It may be some variation of that technology (Caution, Geek info ahead):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-wire_transmission_line

http://www.radioworld.com/article/New-Technology-May-Alleviate-BPL-Interference-Concerns/190578
 
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com
Moderator

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

Going by their blog post, looks like they have a few different ideas on how they'll execute in mind

http://about.att.com/newsroom/att_to_test_delivering_multi_gigabit_wireless_internet_speeds_using_po...

Seems like a great idea, but could be security-risky and they'd need to create something that isn't as submissive to the elements if they are using unshielded techniques to translate information between open spaces, even if they're small. 
Assistant Professor

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

This has been talked about and in development for quite awhile, was wondering when it start being tested. Really could be a game changer.

Wonder how cable providers would offset their investment already on cables in the ground? Very high price for the power line service? Seems like one of those hitting yourself in the face kind of scenarios. I think one reason nobody has really been pushing it, until now.

Maybe if AT&T can patent it they will pretty much be able to take over the entire ground based ISP market using power lines. That would certainly offset any loss in the underground cable customer base. Of course the power companies would have a say in all of it, and a price.

High frequency signals riding on top of low frequency AC power has been going on for years. Used in aircraft and the military uses it many different ways.
Tutor

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

Our little electrical co-op has been trying to figure this internet over powerlines for years.
Distinguished Professor III

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

They tried this in a town in VA.  Apparently it wasn't all that impressive and the cost of maintaining it wasn't worth it. 

I'm sure the technology is updated, but if I remember correctly, the problem is the transformers in the power lines.  It's difficult to not have them interfere with the signal. 


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Advanced Tutor

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

It looks like they may solving that issue by not injecting the signal into the lines and are instead "riding over the top."

It may well be that, at every transformer, they'll need a pair of these launchers to pull the signal off the upstream line, bypass the transformer, then relaunch it on the down stream line. 
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com
Distinguished Professor III

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

I certainly hope that they can do this and that they are able to do it well.  It wouldn't surprise me if it is going to be distance dependent , like with DSL, so it may not help people out in the boonies, but we'll have to wait and see.  Either way, it's an interesting development.   A nice find. 

AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Advanced Tutor

Re: AT&T to Test Broadband Over Power Lines

I used to work for the "Father Of The Home Satellite TV Industry," Taylor Howard, at Chaparral Communications in San Jose. He was a Ham-radio Operator, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, and a Consultant to NASA's Deep-space Research Team.

Brilliant guy, and the first person to tell me about G-line technology, how it could transmit signals over tremendous distances with virtually 0 cable loss. He also said that a problem with the technology is that it doesn't like sharp bends very much, and the signal can just fly right off at the bend and keep on going into nowhere. Smiley Happy
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com