smart meter  (Source:
Trial gives 1,200 Liverpool homes and business powerline broadband with speeds of up to 200 Mbps

Scottish Power and Plus Dane Homes are using smart metering technology in a trial to send broadband Internet access to over 1,000 homes in Liverpool. 

Power-line based broadband, which is also known as Powerline Digital Subscriber Line (PDSL), is an alternative to using fibre-optics or telephone cables. It is capable of transmitting data as a high frequency signal, which is then sent over the electric grid. This technology was proposed before as an alternative for ADSL broadband, but was rejected due to powerline broadband systems interfering with radio frequencies. 

But now, this technology, coupled with smart grid technology, has proven to be advantageous for those who do not have good enough copper links for broadband or those who are off of the fibre network. While BT and Virgin Media are working to offer "higher speed links" using fibre optic cable, a combination of powerline broadband and smart grid technology is more than comparable.

Scottish Power started installing smart metering equipment in July 2010. Smart meters were placed in 1,200 homes, and the trial began that summer. The equipment is capable of offering broadband at speeds of up to 200 Mbps. 

With smart metering technology, smart grids can now provide better control over electricity use in the 1,200 homes and businesses in Liverpool. Smart grids also decrease the additional cost of having to install powerline broadband

In addition, Liverpool will be receiving electric vehicle charging points as part of the trial. They will be located at a supermarket, and Merseytravel has applied for £4m "to install 400 such charging points across the city." 

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