July 18, 2005, 12:00 AM

A web connection in every socket: IEEE works on new broadband standard

In a move that could greatly expand the number of Internet connections in homes and offices, the IEEE has started working on a technical standard for making broadband communication devices compatible with AC electrical power outlets.

In a move that could greatly expand the number of Internet connections in homes and offices, the IEEE has started working on a technical standard for making broadband communication devices compatible with AC electrical power outlets.

"The ability to transmit digital data over power lines from substations to homes and offices is attracting attention because it transforms wall outlets into Internet portals," said Jim Mollenkopf, co-chair of an IEEE group working on the technical standard. "This approach resolves the tough task of linking long-distance fiber optic cables to individual computers and should make the Internet even more universal than it now is.”

The standard, IEEE P1901, will apply to broadband-over-power-line, or BPL, devices that work over copper power lines to connect to broadband Internet services. The IEEE, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, said it expects to complete the standard in early 2007.

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