Internet access coming to Canberra's power lines

Canberra residents will be able to access broadband internet over power lines in spring, if TransACT's impending trial of the service proves to be a success, according to the company.

TransACT CIO and general manager Carsten Larsen said the company is looking at delivering the Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) service to office buildings, because many of the houses and medium-density units in Canberra and Queanbeyan already have TransACT's fibre cables running past them.

The first test site for the service, which will deliver download speeds of 200Mbs on a shared network, will be TransACT's own head office, Larsen said.

"The engineering is being drawn up. If we go from here to a connected environment, we can take the lessons from here to a live site.

"We have to feel all the bumps and problems with it. But we will give it a push and see if it works."

Larsen said supplying the service should be a simple process, given that TransACT is already a telco and an ISP, while TransACT's parent company ActewAGL is an electricity provider.

"We just need to find the distribution medium, and BPL is the provider of this," he added.

When live, the trial will run for three months. Should that prove successful, a commercial rollout is expected in the second half of this year, Larsen said.

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Howard Dahdah

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