The European Commission has approved funds of EUR 9.6 million to develop the next generation of European power line technology, which uses national electricity grids to carry data communications and provide Internet access.
Government is funding from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), which will go the Open PLC European Research Alliance (OPERA), to support field deployments in Europe based on the first open specification for broadband access over Power Line Communications (PLC). The OPERA project will test the deployment of low cost broadband access for a wide range of applications, including high data rate broadband access, e-Learning, telephony, smart home, new intelligent grid services, video on demand, security and e-Health. OPERA project is based on the Spanish BPL chipmaker, DS2 technology and provide network of 200 MBit/s. The new specification will provide interoperability with non-OPERA technologies, guaranteeing that future versions of OPERA technology will be compatible with specifications of present.