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HP & RCA Team Up for Power Line Networking

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Networking through the electric plug on your wall. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. It's yet another choice for connecting multiple computers in your home or small office. RCA and HP are teaming up to co-brand a new line of computer accessories... including a device called the SystemLink. HP's Craig Artherholt...

"It actually allows you to very cost effectively home network your PCs in your home using your power line. So it's very ubiquitous cause there's an outlet in every room, which makes it convenient."

That seems to be the chief advantage power line networking has over similar technology that uses phone lines to connect multiple PCs. There are many more electrical outlets in a household than phone jacks. The first generation runs at a relatively slow 2 megabits per second... .and your network is actually shared between neighbors who are utilize the same electrical transformer. Software tools can give you privacy. RCA's Mark Schaffner... says set up is simple enough for anyone. The SystemLink device plugs into an outlet... and into either a USB or parallel port on a PC... .

"So it's not very complicated for the end user to have a true home networking solution in their home, using again the AC power line. For file sharing, for printing, for ISP... Internet access, it's a great way to go."

The SystemLink ... with the hardware to connect PCs ... will be available in June for about 250 dollars. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.