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Top electronic makers to team up to set standards for power-line networks
TOKYO (AFP) Jan 06, 2005
Three top Japanese firms said Thursday they will team up to establish standards for using power lines in home networking, an emerging technology billed as a way to offer easy, high-speed access.

Panasonic brand maker Matsushita, Sony and Mitsubishi Electric in a joint statement said they were creating an alliance to set up global standards so appliances built by different companies will interconnect.

Under the technology, data would be transmitted not via telephone lines but by power lines -- theoretically providing powerful Internet access in any room that is wired for electricity.

And in contrast to telephone lines, power lines would allow computers to run on the same network as appliances such as televisions, refrigerators and heating thermostats, opening new possibilities for secure, remote access.

Powerline communication "is considered a critical bi-directional communication channel that will support home networking in the future," the joint statement said.

The technology has been made available in recent years in limited trials in the United States, Europe, Australia and parts of East Asia.

Japan, however, has not yet allowed it as it looks into whether the technology could interfere with ship and aircraft radio communications.

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