DIRECTV to offer broadband over power lines

August 20, 2007

DIRECTV. and Current Group have announced a wholesale distribution agreement that will enable DIRECTV to offer its customers Current’s Broadband Over Powerline (BPL) high-speed Internet service and VoIP services. The service is slated to begin at the end of this year.

DIRECTV customers will be able to access the Internet by plugging a BPL modem into any power outlet in their home. This symmetrical service can send data faster than the typical cable modem service in use today. The increased upload speed is significant to users who rely on greater speeds to play interactive games or send significant volumes of digital content through the Internet.

DIRECTV will have access to Current’s BPL network initially in the Dallas/Fort Worth market — one where the network is expected to cover about 1.8 million homes within a few years. The agreement will expand to other geographic markets as the network grows.

Current builds an Internet overlay onto existing electric wires allowing electric utilities to deploy and manage a “smart grid.” This provides sensing technology, two-way high-speed communications, 24/7 monitoring, and analytic software and related services to provide location- specific, real-time actionable data.

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