Power Line Communication

Power line communication is the use of electricity lines to convey electronic communications. Though there are technical difficulties, the potential benefits are enormous. Instead of rolling out separate telecoms infrastructure, PLC means remote places already connected to the electricity grid might quickly and easily be connected. In addition, the power lines within a house mean that you could communicate with virtually any device plugged into the wall. As well as making 1950’s “house of tomorrow” predictions come true – imagine your fridge going on-line and ordering you food from the supermarket – that would have immediate and significant benefits in terms of metering electricity use, balancing load, and hence reducing electricity consumption and carbon emissions. The potential benefits for the developing world are also great. Whilst they are leapfrogging to mobile technology, and hence seeing huge growth in the wireless sector, internet penetration is not growing as fast. If the internet could be supplied via existing power lines, then even remote parts of the developing world would have access to all the information resources that the internet has to offer. Look here for an excellent overview of the status and potential of PLC, written by a Kenyan author.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.