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Broadband Over Power Line (BPL)

Definition - What does Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) mean?

Broadband over power line (BPL) is the transmission of data over existing electrical wire using frequencies outside the range of AC power. Special networking equipment is required to translate electrical signals into data. They can be used as a long-range means of internet access as well as for smart power grids.

Techopedia explains Broadband Over Power Line (BPL)

Broadband over power line (BPL) is the transmission of large amounts of data over existing electrical lines. Data is distributed from a power company over existing lines to residential and business customers.

BPL's principle of operation is similar to that of DSL, though using power lines instead of phone lines. Data is transmitted over frequencies outside of the range of typical AC where the data and power equipment do not interfere with each other, typically at 1.8–250 MHz. Special modem-like devices plug into wall sockets to send and receive data.

Broadband providers do not have to run fiber-optic cables for this type of service, so it can be attractive in areas where telcos do not want to build out DSL or cable networks. BPL also makes smart grid technology more feasible, since power companies do not have to run extra networking cable to all their equipment.

The reach of BPL is limited compared to other forms of broadband, so it is not nearly as widely deployed as cable or ADSL.

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