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Duke Energy Corporation Message Board

  • abtg_broadband2powerlines_stock abtg_broadband2powerlines_stock May 3, 2007 9:02 AM Flag

    Remember Ambient/Duke to widen Internet via power lines ~~~~

     

    fyi: Duke to widen Internet via power lines
    Deal with small firm offers service to 6,000
    CHRISTOPHER D. KIRKPATRICK
    ckirkpatrick@charlotteobserver.com
    Duke Energy Corp. and a tiny Boston technology company want to turn every power
    outlet in your home into a ready-made portal for broadband access to the Internet and
    beyond.
    Ambient Corporation, a 37-employee company near Boston, announced Duke as the first
    customer for its broadband power line technology. Up to 6,000 Duke Energy customers in
    southern Charlotte would be the recipients of the service under a pilot program that
    already provides broadband to more than 500 Duke customers in the area.
    Ambient, a $30 million company that trades as a penny stock, was the winner of a
    technology derby of sorts inside the power company.
    After several years of trials, Ambient was chosen to expand Duke's existing pilot program
    that uses various technologies, said Ram Rao, chief technology officer for Ambient.
    "Essentially, we utilize existing power lines ... to deliver communication signals," he said.
    "One of the advantages is every single (power) outlet in your house can be your Internet
    connection. So the whole house is ready-wired."
    The technology employs a special box -- about the size of a pack of playing cards -- that
    plugs into power outlets. On the side facing out is a plug-in for a data line that delivers
    the broadband signal. Duke would contract with Internet service providers to complete
    the service.
    "Basically, we were looking for the technology to expand it. We had been testing new
    technologies, and now we feel we have (it)," said Tom Shiel, Duke Energy spokesman.
    "We see this as an opportunity to do further explorations in this. We still have to do the
    testing to see if this works."
    Ambient also provides boxes on poles throughout the power network that would help
    create a so-called smart grid. The communication network would allow it to monitor
    power levels and the health of transformers. The technology would act as a monitoring
    system that ideally would detect problems and send alarms to prevent power outages
    and power surges. Duke also would like to read meters remotely, using the Ambient
    technology.
    "What this will allow us to do is monitor our distribution system from transformer to
    transformer. This has obvious benefits in power outages," Shiel said.

    This topic is deleted.
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