You are on page 1of 4



Hybrid WirelessBroadband over Power Lines

By Soundarya R.

Hybrid Wireless-Broadband over Power Lines

Over the past few years advances in signal processing technology have enabled the advent of modem chips that are able to overcome the transmission difficulties associated with sending communications signals over electrical power lines. In the United States, this capability has been termed Broadband over Power Lines or BPL. There are two predominant types of BPL communications configurations: Access BPL and In-Home BPL. Access BPL is comprised of injectors (used to inject High Frequency (HF) signals onto medium or low voltage power lines), extractors (used to retrieve these signals) & repeaters (used to regenerate signals to prevent attenuation losses). In addition to taking advantage of the power line infrastructure, InHome BPL modems utilize the existing house wiring to provision a Local Area Network (LAN) that can be used throughout the home. One of the largest commercial markets for BPL is the ability to provide Internet Services by means of TCP/IP protocols, which can support voice, data, and video services. Another significant benefit of BPL is the ability to employ intelligent power line networks that make use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices, dynamic provisioning, and other forms of modernized electrical power networks. A SCADA system can save time and money by reducing the need for service personnel to physically visit each site for inspection, data collection, and routine logging or even to make adjustments. The benefits also include the ability for real-time monitoring, system modifications, troubleshooting, increased equipment life, and automatic report generating.

Dept. of ECE

Page 2

Hybrid Wireless-Broadband over Power Lines


Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) is a term used to describe the use of existing electrical lines to provide the medium for a high speed communications network. BPL, also known as Power Line Communications (PLC) is achieved by superimposing the voice or data signals onto the line carrier signal using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. In-house BPL is broadband access within a building or structure using the electric lines of the structure to provide the network infrastructure. HomePlug (Homeplug, 2005) is an alliance of several vendors of in-house BPL products which has authored a standard for device compliance. Products conforming to the HomePlug standard have been commercially available since 2002. For example, Linksys offers the PLEBR10, an adapter which connects an existing router (which accepts the in-coming broadband from Cable or DSL) to the electric lines of the house. Other computers in the building can then connect to the network simply by attaching their computer's network card to an adapter (e.g. Linksys PLUSB10) plugged into a wall outlet. Access BPL is the use of the electrical transmission lines to deliver broadband to the home. Access BPL is considered a viable alternative to Cable or DSL to provide the 'final mile' of broadband to end users. A BPL coupler placed at the pole converts the transmission medium from fiber (originating at the substation) to medium voltage power lines. Broadband signals traverse the medium voltage power lines, bypassing transformers, with repeaters placed every mile along the transmission path. At the final pole, a BPL wireless device can deliver the broadband to home-installed BPL wireless receivers, or, the signal can be sent to the individual homes via the low-voltage electrical lines and made available through any BPL wired receiver.

Dept. of ECE Page 3

Hybrid Wireless-Broadband over Power Lines

[1] Hybrid Wireless-Broadband over Power Lines: A Promising Broadband Solution in Rural Areas. Angeliki M. Sarafi, Georgios I. Tsiropoulos, and Panayotis G. Cottis, National Technical University of Athens. [2] Technical Information Bulletin 07-1, National Communication Systems, Virginia. [3] Rivier College Online Academic Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2006, by Bruce R. Trull.

Dept. of ECE

Page 4