Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) has hit new heights with Matsushita Electronics, the parent company of Panasonic, demonstrating a network capable of 170Mbps using an everyday wall socket and their new BPL chip, at a Japanese tradeshow last week.
BPL is not new: towns in Texas are already enjoying 4Mbit BPL connections
costing just US$25 per month. At the time, it was reported that within a year, the technology could provide speeds up to 90Mbits. Matsushita's new chip almost doubles that to 170Mbps (Megabits per second) - enough to download video-on-demand and other content at over 21,000KB/sec.
Matsushita, said that by using new products with the new chip embedded in them, users can access a broadband network simply by plugging into the electrical network. Users not wanting to route network cable to purchase wireless networking gear could simply jack into the network in any room via the power grid.
Matsushita also hopes to introduce a range of Internet-aware smart appliances featuring this new BPL chip, so your TV, DVD recorder, washing machine and microwave could all be on the net.