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Broadband on the electricity grid: Enel's first experiments

Broadband on the electricity grid: the first experiments of Enel – Macitynet.it logomacitynet1200wide 1

On 22 June 2001, Enel.it, the company of the Enel Spa Group that manages the Group's IT activities and operates on the ICT market, signed an agreement with The Fantastic Corporation, a Swiss company leader in software solutions for data transmission on broadband, for the supply of a new broadband platform for the transmission of multimedia content and Internet access.

Enel.it has therefore designed and implemented broadband support for the Enel Group for the use of WEB TV as an internal communication vehicle for the over 50,000 workstations of employees and for teleconferencing services. and dedicated structures, Enel Spa under the guidance of Gianluigi Di Francesco CEO of Enel.it is now entering the Internet Provider market by providing broadband internet connection using its own electricity distribution network in Italy. Thanks to the new Powerline technology Comunications It will be possible to connect one or more computers to the network using the wiring and plugs of normal 220 volt electricity. Infostrada.Le prospects are still attractive, in fact, Enel Spa has a capillary network of many potential n new Enel.it customers. A huge market segment made up of millions of domestic and professional electricity users excited to be able to avoid invasive installations, cabling and bureaucratic delays connected to the notorious "last mile" with which the other broadband providers have to deal .Baster in fact connect an appliance to the 220volt electrical plug to be in the LAN network with other computers in the same apartment / office as well as having WAN access on the Internet. hints at platform compatibility issues. All to suggest that it is a normal DSL service that uses the 220 volt power line rather than the classic twisted pair. Even the maximum expected bandwidth suggests analogies with the current twisted pair DSL services (128kbps upstream, 640kbps downstream) equal to the main ADSL offers currently on the market. However, Enel.it does not exclude the possibility of offering wider margins with a bouquet of customized offers for every need, even professional. Enel.it has undertaken an experimentation of the Service in the Municipality of Grosseto where 5,000 families have been equipped with broadband on the 220v. The families to whom the experimentation was proposed were equipped with a modem to be installed between the computer and any electrical outlet. Through the Enel network and some gateways installed in each building, the signal will be transported to the control units that will send / receive TCP packets / IP with the rest of the world. The experimentation currently undertaken in Grosseto follows both the standards currently marketed by the German Electricity Company Rwe and those of the Iberian operator Endesa. At the end of the experimentation, the method that has proven to be more versatile will be chosen. The experimentation opens up far broader horizons than simply connecting to the Internet. In fact, taking advantage of the normal connection to the electricity grid, it will be possible to implement interactivity even between simple household appliances that can communicate with each other, with personal computers, but also with the rest of the world, including hosts!

(By Rudy Belcastro)

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