Powerful powerline: Liverpudlians to get 200 Mbps access, Augustans get fiber

Belying the belief that broadband over powerline is a slow medium with limited possibilities, Liverpool, UK is launching a trial delivering 200 Mbps speeds to 1,000 homes over existing power cables.

The project uses technology from Powerline Communications and will work alongside new smart meters that are being deployed across the entire U.K. The powerline-fitted smart meters are designed to provide more information on energy usage and consumption; the fast broadband trial will be aimed at seeing how well power lines work as broadband conductors in a new housing development.

Closer to home, Augusta, Ga., fast becoming known as more than the site of the annual Masters Golf Tournament, is building a 200-mile fiber optic ring for residential broadband Internet and municipal services. It will even in the end have a wireless link thanks to dozens of free WiFi hotspots in public facilities like parks, libraries and community centers.

Augusta, the more informed already know, is the test bed for a radically different Comcast cable box with multiple tuners and Internet connectivity.

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