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Powerlines May Be the Most Practical Home Gateway

14 Aug, 2002 By: Hive News

Utilities could one day hold the communication gateway to millions of homes throughout the United States, but they don't yet and it is unclear if they ever will, says a report from Chartwell Inc.

The report, Residential Gateways, examines the use of automated meter reading devices that allow utilities to connect to the Internet with two-way communications capabilities and offer residential customers services such as broadband, Internet, video, security and home automation services.

Because of their nearly ubiquitous connection to homes, some believe utilities would be perfectly suited to offer broadband-based services. Others disagree, saying utilities are not equipped – or at least not ready – to offer additional services. Evidence of that is the many vendors that have failed to make a business of offering utility-based gateway devices.

Still, there is hope for residential gateway proponents. Municipal utilities with broadband connections appear to be the most interested in using technology that will allow them to offer Internet or cable services.

And one investor-owned utility is looking to use a gateway to offer remote video surveillance services. The "Nanny cam" service would allow customers to go to the Internet to see if children are home from school or check on pets or elderly relatives.

Residential Gateways includes an analysis and two case studies focusing on utilities using residential gateways to offer additional services.

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