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Satellites and Power Lines

September 5, 2007 | Author: sysadmindgs

Technology — like politics — can make strange bedfellows. Take the example of DirecTV. What could be more wireless than a satellite TV service? You physically cannot run a wire to a satellite. Still, there are some services that just don’t lend themselves to the current wireless technologies, such as providing telephone service or broadband Internet connections.

That’s why DirecTV has existing partnerships with AT&T, Clearwire, Qwest, and Verizon to bundle satellite TV subscriptions with phone and Internet services. The company also announced a new project last month that will bring a similar combination of services to up to 1.8 million homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area using electrical power lines. Working with a company called Current Group, the service will deliver up to 10 Mb per second transfer rates. Unlike some services, the service is symmetrical, meaning that uploads will be just as fast as downloads.

To use the service, you just plug a modem into any power outlet in your home. It provides wired Ethernet and WiFi connections for your home network. So you don’t have to run any new wires.

Broadband over AC power lines sounds like a good idea to me, though it would appear to put all your eggs in one basket. If your power goes out, you’ll probably lose phone service and everything else. But if you have a battery backup for your TV and satellite box, you’ll still be able to watch TV.

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