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Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 

Short for power line communications, the use of the existing utility power grid as the medium to send broadband data communications. In theory, plugging a computer device into an existing power outlet would connect the user to the Internet by tapping into already established national and global power grid networks.

Power grids typically transmit electricity in three levels of voltage: low, medium and high. Medium voltage, typically ranging in the tens of thousands of volts, is what a utility substation will bring to a transformer, and the transformer will reduce the voltage into the low range before sending the electricity into a building. It is the low and medium voltages that PLC takes advantage of in order to transmit data at Ethernet-like speeds.

Some problems associated with the technology include no global technology standard, the different power usages of different countries, and the amount of noise that electronic equipment already produces on power lines.

PLC has applications in expansive networking, such as MANs or CANs, and smaller networking architectures, such as LANs and home networking.

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For pages about PLC . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Power Line Communications Association Home Page
Home page of an organization promoting power line communications as a viable means of high-speed, broadband delivery to millions of homes and businesses through out North America.

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Newark InOne: Programmable Logic - View our online selection of programmable logic. Chat online with product tech support and place your order online 24x7.

Festo: Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) - Offers a broad range of pneumatic and industrial automation products, including programmable logic devices (PLDS).

related categories

Electronic Technology


Pervasive Computing

related terms

clamping voltage


pervasive computing

voltage regulator

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