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ouch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190033)

dammit

hmmmm (5, Funny)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190053)

I sure hope no assembly on the part of the customers is required, and certainly nothing that involves putting the plugs on any cables.

There's sure to be at least one moron that'll fry himself.

Re:hmmmm (3, Funny)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190130)

Isn't that called natural selection?

Re:hmmmm (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190186)

From the article:

"Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas."

So, no, you won't fry yourself..
but you will have lots of wireless internet to hack into :)

Re:hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190217)

PLUG THIS!

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__.COM_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Uh oh! (-1, Redundant)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190060)

No more ham radio in Sault Ste. Marie! Everyone will die a tragic and horrible death on account of there being no more ham radio!

Re:Uh oh! (3, Funny)

Neppy (673459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190083)

I believe you mean Canadian Bacon radio.

Re:Uh oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190458)

BPL is licensed in the US under FCC rules that say in no uncertain terms that the equipment may not interfere with any other equipment, and must accept inference from any other equipment. All the testing I've read inicates that the first ham radio operator keying up his radio at any substantial fraction of the legal limit (1500 watts ERP) will supress all the BPL nearby. Tough luck- the ham is licensed under part 95, the bpl under part 15, end of story. In Canada, the story is similar. And you can bet yer bottom dollar that the bpl customers will blame the hams for the problem.

Re:Uh oh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190113)

No more emergency / taxi / gov / police / commercial radio either...

Re:Uh oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190213)

(Just noting that I DID see that they were using wireless access points. My point was that IF hams get stomped on, so do a bunch of other people.)

Re:Uh oh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190277)

Wow you are both stupid and a moron.

First try READING... it's Wireless access points connected via Fiber..

secondly after looking at your past posts...

you are a complete and utter idiot aren't you.. my god man, I have met small salad bar's that are smarter than you.

Re:Uh oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190481)

I sure hope someone meta moderates that wrong mderation, You are as On-Topic as it gets

Wireless (0)

1SmartOne (744638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190066)

Does anyone know what kind of wireless APs they're going to be using? It will probably be a MAC address related fixed/mobile wireless service. -Scott

Not quite... (2, Informative)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190067)

It's not "over the power grid" in the way you might think, but just WAPs placed along the grid, connected via a fiber backbone. No IP is going along the power lines...

Still great though :)

Re:Not quite... (0)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190119)

There's been a lot of confusion over this. For whatever reason, I'm not able to get to the article (not ./ already, I wouldn't think..) but I've read about efforts to send data over power lines. If this is simply using the existing power lines and infrastructure to place WAPs (instead of planning an independent network and placement) then the headline's a bit misleading. Just think of all the poor Canadians that haven't gotten electric power yet - they won't have wireless Internet access either!

Re:Not quite... (4, Informative)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190155)

"These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service."

In what way is the headline inaccurate? This is the first semi-large test of using the power grid as a network distribution medium.

Read it again. (3, Informative)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190120)

IT is completly "over the power grid".

The "fiber optic backbone" means their network center.

The line says "From wireless, converted to be transmitted OVER THE GRID to the company's (PUC) fiber backbone to the internet."

It is *precisely* a test of data over power lines.

Re:Read it again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190147)

Yeah, seriously. How did the grandparent post get modded +4, informative?

Re:Read it again. (2, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190221)

"Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas.

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service."

This quote doesn't sound like they're sending network data over a power line - it sounds like they are using their existing power line locations to add external WAPs that tap into a fiber network. If they were using the existing power lines, I would expect them to be able to sell/rent boxes that convert the signal from your electrical outlet to an ethernet jack. That's why it sounds misleading - if they're not really sending data over their powerlines, and instead are sending it via another method. But maybe I'm just misreading the article (which I finally got to).

Re:Read it again. (5, Informative)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190256)

The fiber network is not everywhere.... do you think they have fiber on every pole? (fiber is usually buried, btw)

Backbone == NOC. They are using medium voltage power lines as a large network between their backbone and the access points... the article headline, despite being on slashdot, is acccurate.

Re:Read it again. (1)

DJPenguin (17736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190305)

OK, I admit I was probably wrong... :) seems to have got you into quite a state though, mindstrm!

Re:Read it again. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190463)

Yarr! I got set off by the first +5 that said this was not over the grid.....

sorry :)

It's COOL... dammit...

Re:Read it again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190296)

The data goes over the power grid, but doesn't go "the last mile" into your house via the grid. It goes "the last mile" via wireless. So:

1) you send some data.
2) the request goes via wireless to a box by a power line.
3) the box converts it from wireless to powerline transmission and sends it off.
4) ???
5) PROFIT!

Re:Read it again. (0)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190315)

please read it again -

won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home.
this means that they need to put something on the poles, so that computers/people can 'communicate' with the network.

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid
and this means that the data gets sent through the grid - to their fibre backbone, back at the office.

its just like sending data through a tv cable.

Re:Read it again. (2, Informative)

scampiandchips (741448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190374)

When they install power lines the sometimes include an optical fibre cable inside the cores sheathing, so your have say 3 huge copper conducting cores and a skinny little optical cable as well, all wrapped up by a protective PVC sheath etc.. It doesn't cost a lot extra as its installed and manufactured at the same time as the power cable. Its this otical ring theyre tapping into with their wireless network.

Re:Not quite... (5, Informative)

pyser (262789) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190162)

Actually the article does say the data is put on the medium-voltage distribution grid, which is the transmission medium between their fibre backbone (presumably at the substations) and the WAPs mounted on hydro poles in neighbourhoods. They're just not running it on the 240v drop to the customer as in some implementations.

Parent is totally wrong. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190182)

This does indeed use the power lines. Read more carefully.

+5 my ass.

Re:Not quite... (1, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190286)

Awww man and I was already trying to figure out how to adapt a CAT-5 to fit my power outlets so I could turn my living room floor lamp into a stock ticker.

Re:Not quite... (1)

jimwatters (110653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190325)

Being that the parent poster was compleatly wrong.

And it is over the power line.

IMHO Being able to go anywhere in the city and have access to the internet weighs very high. Interference to ham radio weighs very low.
This just might catch on.

Re:Not quite... (1)

ifreakshow (613584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190407)

I think you are wrong

Similar to ESB in Ireland then... (5, Interesting)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190410)

Here in Ireland, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) - our State electricity company, is setting up something similar. They have a fibre ring following the trunk electricity routes - it's just fibre piggy-backed on their existing infrastructure.

I'm just amazed they haven't done this ages ago - it puts them at a huge advantage to those who have to dig up stuff and lay fibre from scratch.

Not sure what ESBs plan is to connect this main telecomms artery to anything useful...

We'll know who to blame... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190069)

...next time the lights go out in NYC. Some evil Canadian hacker will uncap their powerline modem and lights will dim all along the US east coast.

PeePee in Vagina..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190070)

It's Fun
It's Fast
It's Neat!!!

What about do it yourself? (3, Interesting)

emptybody (12341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190075)

Couldn't a private individual use their own gear to run their own ISP over PowerLines?

What prevents this?

Re:What about do it yourself? (1, Interesting)

aonaran (15651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190158)

How about the fact that it's not actually over the powerlines, as the misleading /. headline says, maybe you should read the article first?
It's really a WiFi solution put out by the power company utilizing their existing infrastructure.

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service.

Read what you posted. (4, Informative)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190229)

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent THROUGH THE GRID...... and onto the company's backbone.

GRID == power grid.

The backbone is not everywhere.. the "backbone" is just somefiber link they have at a NOC to some other isps.

They are indeed using power line data transmission for this... that's what the entire project is about, and the only reason it is significant.

Re:What about do it yourself? (1)

sabrex15 (746201) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190267)

Well im sure that there are laws prohibiting you from installing items all along the power-poles/lines/whatever theyre gonna do. Just like here in the US you can go run your own cable along the poles.

Re:What about do it yourself? (2, Informative)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190402)

They are using the medium voltage lines for transmitting the data. I'd guess that both the WiFi boxes and the Internet->Power Grid box are both on medium voltage lines.

Sending the data to the transformers (and onto the low-voltage line that enters your house) is probably very difficult and problematic because of the effect of the transformer on the signal. If the data could easily pass through the transformer, you'd think the modem would just plug into a wall socket rather than using WiFi.

Thus, if you had the technology, you could send data through the medium voltage lines if you climbed the pole and hooked it up, but it's very unlikely that the current technology is able to send data through the transformer.

Awesome! (3, Insightful)

Xoder (664531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190085)

But I have to wonder whether this will increase the noise on the powerlines. The frequency used on the lines is not given, but don't we have enough 2.4 GHz noise in the air? Do we need some bleeding into the powerlines as well?

Of course, that could be my "the Commons is being raped"-foil hat again.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190252)

I suspect (Any EE backup here?) that the 2.4 Ghz range at low wattage will do NOTHING to 10's of thousands of volts operating in the 60hz range. Otherwise (I realize, different band, etc) cell phone towers would already be screwing up power lines.

I am an EE.... (0)

Xoder (664531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190346)

Oh, so these aren't on the home line poles? The article was unclear which of the several voltage steps down to 120VAC was "medium voltage".

Cells do produce some noise on the lines, but most cell towers are not less than a foot away from the power lines. There is also the upstream to be slightly concerned with. I mean, the step-down transformers can step-up just as easily.

Of course, none of these concerns are really major, and I'm sure have been taken into account already.

Re:I am an EE.... (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190406)

Shrug... around here they build cell fone masts inside the big ugly metal lattice power poles... i guess it compresses the two eyesores into one.

Re:Awesome! (1)

sabrex15 (746201) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190318)

Just wondering, whats stopping anyone from using another band? 2.5GHz?.. 2.3 2.2?... Why does it all have to be 2.4?

Re:Awesome! (4, Informative)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190506)

Actually, they are using between 5 - 70 Mhz .... since nothing important(*) resides down there ...

(*) nothing important does NOT include:

  • shortwave radio (7-14 Mhz)
  • older cordless phones (~49 Mhz)
  • CB Radio (~29Mhz)
  • Several Amateur Radio bands (1.8, 3.5, 7.0, 10.0, 14.0, 18.068, 21.0, 24.9, 28.0, 50.0 Mhz)
  • Military communications (several)

oO0(MjB)0Oo? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190086)

what the hell kind of name is oO0(MjB)0Oo ?

Had to be said (0)

Rower (140698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190089)

whats the story on high speed internet over the power grid, is this good or is it whack

Security First (0, Flamebait)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190090)

I hope they have considered security problems. With out thought this could turn a lot of laptops and PCs in to a distributed SPAM network.

Re:Security First (1)

Dav3K (618318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190383)

You haven't been to Soult Ste Marie, have you?

Re:Security First (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190503)

I don't think anybody has been to Soult Ste Marie

It's Sault Ste. Marie

Re:Security First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190386)

This town is too small to worry about being a SPAM haven, well if you spammers wanna move here good luck it snows half the year. But there is zero computer security in this town, I know I am a resident.

Re:Security First (1)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190433)

Installing Windows on a machine could also turn it into a SPAM network.

I still see many large corporations doing this today... Are they considering the same security problems?

radio comunications (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190097)

this can really disrupt wireless communications notably ham commmunications, power lines make for big antenas

Re:radio comunications (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190151)

Honestly, is it too much to read the summary instead of just the misleading and/or sensational headlines?

Of course, I must be new here.

Next step. (3, Funny)

Omni Magnus (645067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190098)

The next step is for them to figure out how to send broadband throught the sewer system.*

Dilbert reference

Re:Next step. (4, Informative)

tomalpha (746163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190131)

Not just Dilbert - http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/22/35334.html

IP over sewage.

Re:Next step. (1)

lildogie (54998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190446)

If you put internet into sewage, you get sewage.

If you put sewage into the internet, you get sewage.

Re:Next step. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190473)

Look how much easier HTML makes our lives.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/22/35334.html [theregister.co.uk]

Interference (2, Funny)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190099)

In remote areas like this, shortwave radio is still in pretty heavy usage. I'll be this pilot program will be grounded in short order ;-)

Take a trip (1)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190102)

To good old Sault St. Marie [sault-canada.com] . And don't forget your laptop.

Re:Take a trip (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190321)

To good old Sault St. Marie. And don't forget your laptop.

Things to do in Da Soo in the winter:

Play hockey

Watch hockey

Go skiing at Searchmont [searchmont.com] (Looks like they renamed the runs, used to be named Harddrive, Megabyte, etc.)

Wait for the spring thaw and the return of shipping through the Soo Locks

Drink beer

Eat donuts

Uh oh (1, Funny)

tarius8105 (683929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190108)

So if there is a blackout, its because someone in Canada is using Kazaa?

Blackout 2004! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190110)

Can't wait for the summer blackout, thanks again Canada!

Re:Blackout 2004! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190163)

You did follow the news, right? They tracked the source of the last blackout to a power station on the US side of the border. That's the official US report. Oh wait, CNN didn't make a big deal of that? What a surprise.

This technology would not work here. (0)

Srividya (746733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190123)

Everyone here gets electricity usually by making illegal connections to the power lines of neighbors or the street. This would make them able to take Internet the same way. Probably wireless will remain to be the best here.

Re:This technology would not work here. (3, Insightful)

gooberguy (453295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190298)

Wrong. If you had read the article, you would know that the power company has put 802.11b access points on their power line towers. The access points are connected to the internet over the power grid, but the customers use 802.11b to get data from their computer to the power lines. There is still the possibility of people stealing bandwidth, but if the network is set up properly, stealing would be a lot more complicated than just running a wire.

Best news yet? (2, Funny)

mr. methane (593577) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190128)

... for a $1 fee, you can inflict a painful electrical shock to anyone else on the network!

RF interference? (5, Insightful)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190129)

How are they going to deal with RF interference issues? Canadian ham radio operators have very similar rights to those in the US.. the CRTC keeps its regulations pretty similar to the FCC.

Also, will this cause any other sort of interference? My TV reception (over antenna) is already crap because of Ontario Hydro -- I live within 0.5km of the high-voltage pylons and my TV reception is terrible on VHF because of it.. (during the huge power outage last summer, I was able to very clearly receive stations all through New York state)

Re:RF interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190200)

.....

Lets see here, you somehow managed to receive very clear signals and view them on your television.. when.. you didn't have any electricity to power your television, and the TV stations had no power to broadcast?

How did you manage that?

Re:RF interference? (1)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190332)

Lets see here, you somehow managed to receive very clear signals and view them on your television.. when.. you didn't have any electricity to power your television, and the TV stations had no power to broadcast?

I'd suspect this person was using a battery operated TV, or running a conventional TV from UPS or generator power.

As for the TV and radio stations, they typically have substantial backup power infrastructure to allow them to continue operating during commercial power outages. Some TV station transmitters even operate continuously without grid power. For example. WMTW-TV and WHOM-FM used to operate year round from kerosine powered generators because there is no commercial power on Mt. Washington.

Re:RF interference? (1)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190370)

That's correct.. we had a generator at the time.

The smaller, local stations did not have backup power, and some of the large Toronto stations were constantly on and off (CFTO, Toronto CBC), but there were plenty of stations still operating..

Re:RF interference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190453)

simple... they started by READING THE ARTICLE

and noticing that it's fiber and 802.11 access points..

then they simply make a note that you speak before you know and simply ignore anything you have to say from now on.

really simple.

no IP over power line (1)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190132)

I understand due to the geographical and demographical situation, they will be running advertising campaigns warning potential customers to call before they plug their modems into the toaster!

See the great innovation of privatization (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190160)

Look at how great this privatiazation of the hydro companies have worked in Ontario - a town in the middle of nowhere has internet! Now if it didn't cost and arm and a leg and rolling blackouts weren't going to become a daily occurance I just might think selling the hyrdo co's was a good idea :P

rural (0)

BitchAss (146906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190175)

Does anyone know if this'll get broadband access out to the rural areas? I'm in a place where DSL and cable are a wet dream.

Obligatory Homer Simpson reference (-1, Offtopic)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190178)

Sure hope Homer isn't at the controls of that power station...

Interesting... (2, Funny)

Grym (725290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190211)

What I find most interesting is how the last 150 meters to the customer is done via 802.11b wireless. While the guy is right in saying that it will provide roaming capabilities, this represents a huge security (or lack thereof) issue.

Soon Canada will become the true safe haven for all pot-smokers and hackers, it seems. Better plan a roadtrip, boys.

-Grym

Re:Interesting... (0)

notbob (73229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190366)

I see a flood of blackhats heading north to ol' canada... till winter... then a flood of them headng for Miami to take chances with the cops over the frozen Moose attacks

Roam if you want to (0, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190216)

The Soo, as we call it, eh!

I can just picture the lively uses for this in this remote city known for it's locks.

"Watched hockey game last night on the computer, eh!"

"Yeah, good thing, because the TV was broken, eh!"

driving... (1)

sabrex15 (746201) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190240)

while under the influence of slashdot??? No this is really cool, so a subscriber could stop on the side of the road with the ol' laptop and grab the latest info, check email, or whatever he/she might be doing. But having wireless access coverage all across the place is just awesome, I'm happy to see things like this taking place and I hope it works well for them.

Amperion.com (3, Informative)

Linus Sixpack (709619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190254)

The company supplying the technology is called Amperion. Their website has a description of the kit probably used in the article.

http://www.amperion.com

Candle lit (2, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190317)

So, instead of watching TV in candle light, I can surf in candle light. Awesome!

Oh... wait a sec

What the...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190338)

I am FROM Sault Ste. Marie! Why are hicks getting this but nobody in Toronto is? I should move back... grumble grumble.

Exchange rate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190341)

believe it would be low voltage lines once u figger in the exchange rate.

No shielding (5, Informative)

arrianus (740942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190355)

For those not following the broadband-over-power-lines debate, the basic problem is lack of shielding. Cable modems use coax cable, where the outside of the coax acts as a shield, and so very little RF gets out. The wires carry broadband internet, but don't interfere with anything. In the case of DSL/telephone, you have twisted pair (or at the very least, two wires running very close to each other). They effectively shield each other (meaning that each generates a field in the opposite direction, and the fields cancel out if you're not too close to the wire). More RF gets out than coax, but it's still negligable compared to desirable transmissions. In the case of power lines, they are, depending on power line configuration and frequency, either a significant fraction of a wavelength apart, or several wavelengths apart. In some directions, you get destructive interference, but in others, you get constructive interfence. In the directions of constructive interference, you have a lot of signal being broadcast. As a result, they act as a directional antenna, which interferes with anything on the same wavelengths as power-over-power-lines.

Signal strength goes a square of distance. That means that if I have an antenna running 10 meters from my house, and I'm trying to tune into a station 10 kilometers aways, that station needs to be putting out a million times more power than the segment of powerline running next to me. Ouch.

This probably won't interfere with typical consumer applications (television, FM radio), because if it did, there would be significant political reprecussions, and it would be banned (in other words, it's probably engineered to operate outside of those frequencies). On the other hand, according to the ARRL, it very likely will interfere with amateur radio and therefore emergency communications services.

My view is that it may be a good idea in some third world countries, with no telephone service, where there are no alternatives for Internet. However, in modernized countries, we're better off spending the few extra dollars to put in DSL on top of all phone lines or sticking with modems for a while longer, than in the short term, sacrificing emergency communications infrastructure, and in the long term, entrenching a system of broadband that takes away a significant chunk of the spectrum, and prevents all sorts of innovative uses of that spectrum we haven't thought of yet. Spectrum is a scarce resource, and it's gonna get scarcer. The population growing, but amount of spectrum stays constant, sans a few one-time improvements from better utilization (there are fundamental limits on signal strength vs. noise vs. bandwidth vs. bitrate -- with antenna arrays/directional transmissions, there are limits on directionality vs. frequency vs. transmitter size -- we cannot improve utilization forever). In contrast, all the benefits of power-over-power-lines are short-term -- we only gain the one-time cost of not having to modernize our infrastructure (maintanance costs of the two possible infrastructures aren't significantly different).

I don't know how this initiative works, but my impression is that it sends broadband over powerlines, and then the last gap is sent via wireless. If this is the case, it has all of the standard problems associated above. If not, I need more information than is in the article to evalute it :)

Re:No shielding (-1, Troll)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190514)

On the other hand, according to the ARRL, it very likely will interfere with amateur radio and therefore emergency communications services. I can assure you sir that emergency communications services using private radio networks are anything but amateur and will continue to work fine. The private radio networks that are out today support a lot more frequencies than those used in the cellular infrastructure because government always reserves a large part of the spectrum for their own use. If some Ham radio users lose out on this because they use spectrum that isn't licensed for their use, then too bad.

Wow, I'm moving to the Soo! (2, Interesting)

presearch (214913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190378)

Not only the home of the Bandettes [soonet.ca] , but now internet for everyone!
My kind of town.

Re:Wow, I'm moving to the Soo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190519)

You insensitive clod! I'm from the Soo!

Seriously, I am. Great town - too bad the economy is terrible there (nothing like unemployment in the 17% range).

If you like the outdoors, and winter sports (you'd better like winter sports - they get tons of snow there) it's a great place, if you can find work.

I had to move away for school, and now work.

Who is Lain? (-1, Offtopic)

Wolface (740944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190405)

humans won't need devices anymore to be connected to the wired so what's the use for our bodies??

Lain???... who is Lain??

never seen so many ppl avoid RTFA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190414)

Sault Ste. Marie makes high-speed power play
Internet piped over electric grid
Utilities challenge telecom firms

TYLER HAMILTON
TECHNOLOGY REPORTER

Sault Ste. Marie, known largely as a northern Ontario steel town, is set to become the first municipality in Canada to offer residential high-speed Internet service through the power grid.

Local energy supplier PUC Inc. hopes other hydro utilities will follow its lead and give cable and telephone companies a jolt of competition.

"We really want to see this take off," said Martin Wyant, general manager of PUC Telecom Inc., the telecommunications subsidiary of PUC.

"Our service can reach into areas that others don't, because the power network is the most pervasive on the planet. It's where the phones aren't and the cable isn't."

Broadband power line technology (BPL) makes it possible for data to piggyback the existing power infrastructure.

This is appealing to hydro companies that are looking for new sources of revenue but don't want to invest heavily in new telecommunications facilities.

Virtually every home and office is wired for electricity, so every building has the potential to access the Internet and other data services through medium-voltage power lines.

Speed of service generally equals or exceeds cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) products.

"It's going to enable so much for utilities," said Wyant.

PUC will launch a market trial of the service over the coming weeks involving "thousands" of Sault Ste. Marie homes and will broadly deploy the service before the end of the year, Wyant said.

Pricing will be "competitive" with cable and DSL service.

PUC is also looking at offering "second-line" broadband telephone service over its high-speed lines.

"The growing involvement of electric utilities in communications is undeniable," wrote Lawrence Surtees, senior telecom analyst at IDC Canada, in a recent report. "Hydro companies have quietly emerged as powerful challengers poised to assault the `last mile' supremacy of the incumbent telephone companies."

Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas.

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service.

The advantage of this approach, said Wyant, is that instead of being tied to home with cable or DSL service, a power-line subscriber with a wireless card can use the service anywhere in Sault Ste. Marie that's within range of an access point.

"It's (high-speed) roaming that the phone and cable companies can't provide," he said.

The company's technology partner is Andover, Mass.-based Amperion Inc., a three-year-old firm that counts Cisco Systems Inc. as a strategic investor. Amperion has about 12 power-line trials under way in the United States and several already offer commercial service.

The company began expanding in Canada last year. "We're in discussions with all of the major hydros in Canada at one level or another," said Jeffery Tolnar, vice-president of sales and business development at Amperion.

Hydro utilities have had their eye on the telecom market for several years. Many own fibre-optic networks and already sell unused capacity to long-distance carriers and Internet services providers.

With this project, Sault Ste. Marie will showcase the technology for other Canadian utilities. "It's nice to be the first in a community known as an industrial location more than a high-tech location," said Wyant

Northern? (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190415)

I thought it was on the US border.

Sunspots and solar flares (1)

stewwy (687854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190422)

Obviously, these are going to be the next 'terrorist' threat to the net, (solar flares affect the power cables and can and have cause outages)

Canada? (2, Interesting)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190423)

Ok, what's the tech market like in Canada for hard-core engineer level *Nix geeks? :) How do Canadians feel about American Immigrants? LOL

Re:Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190486)

come on over, but pick up your hockey stick and beer at the border

this is bad... (1)

teh*fink (618609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190427)

this is bad because now the power company will be able to eavesdrop on all transmissions destroying our privacy!!

Ugh.. morons.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8190459)

There's a reason this happens in CANADA..

IT IS BECAUSE AMERICANS CAN'T READ THE ARTICLES

THE POWER LINES DON'T CARRY DATA.. EH!

fawk..

1+1 != 3

Fiber on the towers.. because it's plastic and glass it isn't affected by RF or other radiant electricity..

Wireless access points on the POLES

Wireless access points on the HOUSES

at no time does the data TOUCH the powerline..

fawk.. look a big shiney thing..!

Cmdr Taco can use this (-1)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190501)

Maybe Taco should petition Ann Arbor to do this so he can finall get off his crappy 56k modem.......

FYI from a Canuck ... (3, Informative)

rlowe69 (74867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190520)

Just so people not familiar with the place know, the Toronto Star is kind of stretching the word "town" here. Sault Ste. Marie has a population of over 75,000 people [wikipedia.org] .

Also, "hydros" in the article refer to the power utilities like Ontario Hydro. "Hydro" (water) comes from the fact that they get some of the power from hydroelectric damns.

Northern Ontario? (3, Funny)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190525)

Ah yes, a Northern Ontario town, on the southern border of Ontario. South of Seattle. Yep.

RTFA - it IS over the powerline. (4, Informative)

emptybody (12341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190526)

Wyant is quick to point out PUC won't be using power lines to deliver Internet access directly into the home. Instead, the company is installing wireless access points along its medium-voltage lines in densely populated residential areas.

These wireless "boxes" convert data so they can be sent through the grid and on to PUC's fibre-optic backbone, which connects to the Internet. Home computers equipped with 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" wireless access cards and within 150 metres of these access points will be able to use the service.

The advantage of this approach, said Wyant, is that instead of being tied to home with cable or DSL service, a power-line subscriber with a wireless card can use the service anywhere in Sault Ste. Marie that's within range of an access point.


INTERNET BACKBONE
- connects to -
medium-voltage power lines
- connects to -
wireless boxes
- wirelessly transmits to/from -
subscribers wifi devices.

First Canadian High Speed Internet over Snow (1)

A Guy From Ottawa (599281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8190528)

"All of Canada is going to be the first installation of BS (Broadband Snow technology). As reported in the Toronto Star, wireless access points will be set up on top of snow hills, providing roaming capability throughout the country to all users."

Seriously though, how can they say this is "BPL (Broadband Power Line technology)" when all they're doing is putting WAPs ONTOP of the power lines.
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