IBM broadband service to reach rural areas

- International Business Machines Corp. said it reached a deal to provide high-speed Internet service to rural areas using existing power lines.

IBM's $9.6 million deal with International Broadband Electric Communications will deploy IBEC's Broadband over Power Lines equipment to customers of electrical cooperatives, InformationWeek reported.

"Americans in rural areas of the country trail their urban and suburban counterparts in broadband availability," IBEC Chief Executive Officer Scott Lee said in a statement.

"This capability will play a crucial role in rural health, education and economic development, while closing the digital divide that exists between well served and under served America," Lee said.

IBM said there were more than 900 electrical cooperatives in the country that make up 45 percent of the nation's power grid.

Customers need only to plug in their computers to any electrical outlet with Broadband over Power Line service to receive a high-speed broad band service.

But the system has drawbacks with some complaining it interferes with short wave radio signals, InformationWeek reported.


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