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Broadband over power lines trial in Scotland

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Some 100 people in Scotland are to take part in a trial that could enable them to get broadband access using existing electrical wires instead of telephone lines or cable.

The trials in Crieff and Campbeltown once again raise the hope that people living and working in rural areas might be able to get broadband without having to fork out for expensive satellite-based services.

SSE Telecom - part of Scottish and Southern Energy plc - reckons people will begin actively taking part in the trials using its electricity power networks from the middle of July.

If successful, it plans to carry out further trials before deciding whether to make the service available commercially.

In 1999 United Utilities and Nortel Networks scrapped plans to use electric wiring instead of phone lines to gain broadband access claiming that market conditions simply didn't justify the investment.

Now it seems that technology has advanced leading to renewed optimism about a possible service. And with greater awareness of broadband, there now also appears to be greater demand for the service too. ®

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