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IBM is to hook up with a US energy company to trial broadband over electric cables.

Big Blue and Houston-based CenterPoint Energy are due to begin trialling the service next month by wiring up some 220 homes with electric broadband.

The pair also plan to set up a technology centre to showcase the technology, reports The New York Times.

While the technology can be used to bring broadband to areas not currently served by DSL or cable services, it also gives utilities the ability to monitor their power networks for any faults and also to read meters.

The two companies are due to announce their broadband powerline alliance today, according to the paper.

Last week Google announced it had invested in a US broadband company that provides high speed net services over electricity cables.

Financial details were not released but the dosh ploughed into Current Communications will be used to invest in its Broadband over Power Line (BPL) service, which provides high speed net access over power cables. ®

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