Coming soon in Capital: Broadband connection through power lines

Posted on January 18, 2008  /  4 Comments

The North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) and the Ministry of Information Technology are working towards an initiative that will make broadband connections through power lines possible. “We will send Internet signals through electricity transformer and channelise them through cables running overhead and underground,” said NDPL spokesperson Ajay Maharaj. “Residents would be given a device to plug into power points at home; they will have a broadband connection.”

Commissioned by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the pilot project will be implemented in the Bawana campus of Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) within six months. A similar project will be implemented in Kolkata.

Read the full story here


  1. Daniel Fink and Rho Jae Jeung presented a related paper at CPRSouth2.

    Title: Analysis of feasible connectivity solutions based on Power Line Communication to rural and remote areas

    Abstract: Power line communication (PLC) is considered an attractive broadband delivery system because it can reach more homes than coaxial cable systems or telephone lines. In markets not served by DSL or cable, PLC can provides a cost-effective connectivity solution. Also known as “third wire” technology, PLC offer applications to rural and remote area in attractive modes like: i) high speed backbone over medium voltage power lines; ii) last mile access network through residential power distribution; iii) last inch access to distribute data communication inside home. Considering the fact that network deployment costs can be reduced if signals are transmitted in an existing infrastructure, current status of PLC must be evaluated as an option to ICT efforts in rural and remote areas. This research targets to study a viable PLC solution for southern countries, the available technical benefits of PLC to rural applications as a backhaul, last mile or hybrid solution. Integration with current alternative technologies such as wireless and satellite communications can define an optimal solution according to individual community needs. Recommendations focused on municipalities or cooperatives are also discussed. Results indicate that PLC does not appear to represent a major disruptive technology in competitive markets, but very suitable for non supplied rural areas and should be considered strategically and technically for future policy decisions.

    Full paper, policy brief and presentation slides available at

  2. They will have to solve one problem the net work printing, data savings etc etc
    With power supply based internet one might print the text on neighbours printer instead of your own. Else may save the data into someones else HDrive!!!!!!

    Donald Gaminitillake

  3. Donald,

    Man, do you drive your car to the neighbor’s place by mistake?

    Like your car, the information bits in a network, (called ‘packets’) be it wired or wireless know where they go. The destination is embedded in what we call its ‘header’. So there is no question your data ending up in neighbor’s equipment.

    On a more serious note, I cannot understand why we tale this concept seriously now. sometime ago when wireless networks were things in science fiction it would have made some sense. Now we can efficiently and affordablly bridge the last mile with wireless. Why a wired network, be it UTP or power-line?

  4. To a certain degree I agree with Hemant.

    Power Line Communication (PLC) is nothing new. The idea has been there for several decades, taxing for a long time but never took off for obvious reasons.

    Theoretically it is always possible to superimpose a high frequency low magnitude wave over the 50Hz, 400V ( low frequency relatively high magnitude) electric power wave and segregate the two at the receiving end.

    The practical issues are;

    (a) Transformers appear everywhere from generation to transmission to distribution. The communication waves being at high frequency cannot pass through a transformer. So practically, they can be ‘injected’ only in the last mile, ie at the step down end of the last distribution transformer, which makes no sense.

    (b) Power waves are always more prone to external interference. So it is inevitable that some part of the communication is always missing. Only way to stop this is to use extra-redundancy, which makes the process utter inefficient.

    Interestingly, PLC is not even used within power systems. If you see the electric poles you will see three thick lines and one think line. The thick lines are to carry power. The thin line is for communication. (to learn about the system faults etc)

    There are few specific applications of PLC, but as Hemant points out should we spend too much time on this? High speed wireless links are possible today, so why we need power lines to carry our signals? Isn’t the thin air enough?