The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is a group of companies seeking to spin gold by characterizing the electrical line to your home as a provider of broadband Internet and video access. I think this is a long way from competitive with the incumbents, but the interesting thing is the natural synchonization of such data intensive uses with the primary use, electric power. This recent announcement is another step toward an electrical grid with distributed intelligence, that is to say, a network that operates itself in an efficient manner commensurate with the global nature of its environmental impact.
“The alliance’s command and control specification will offer whole-house control of lighting and appliances, allowing them to respond to simple commands such as “turn on” and “turn off” and to report their status to a controller. Recent advances in powerline signaling technology enable interference free connectivity throughout the home while greatly reducing the need for additional aids such as phase couplers and repeaters.”