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Scottish Hydro-Electric (SH-E) is to begin full-scale commercial trials in the summer of a broadband service provided directly over electricity power lines.

Stonehaven in Scotland has been named as one location taking part in the trial. Another town in Hampshire has also been earmarked for the trial, although the company has said it will wait a couple of weeks before revealing its identity.

The technology being used is called Powerline Communication (PLC) and uses the utility's existing electricity network to deliver broadband to homes and businesses.

PLC sends the broadband signal along the electricity wires and cables and directly through standard electrical sockets. It can also provide Net access in both directions at speeds up to 2000kbps.

The cost of the service for those taking part in the trial in expected to be around £25 - £30 a month although the pricing has yet to be finalised.

Said SH-E's director of telecoms, Keith Maclean: "This is an affordable service that will allow almost every home and business in Stonehaven to surf the net, download files and play on-line games even faster than someone in a town or city."

If successful, SH-E could begin rolling out the service commercially from next year.

SH-E's decision to press ahead with a full commercial trial follows the successful completion of trials in Crieff and Campbeltown.

For more information go here. ®

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