Panasonic HD-PLC - electric broadband

Panasonic's BL-PA100KT adapter kit uses the HD PLC standard for networking via electricity

We've been writing about using domestic electrical wiring to deliver high-speed data for some time. Panasonic today announced a commercial product to do exactly that.

Rather than conform to the HomePlug standard, Panasonic's BL-PA100KT adapter kit (¥20,000, £89) uses a rival technology known as HD-PLC to transmit data at up to 190Mbit/s around the home.

Setup appears simple - plug the master adapter into a secluded wall socket and connect your broadband router or modem. Then plug the supplied terminal (i.e. destination) adapter into a power socket wherever your PC is and connect the two with a LAN cable.

Further terminal adapters can be set up by connecting them to the same power outlet as the master adapter and pressing a button on each to pair them, which is about as simple as anything gets these days.

High security, high stability

One advantage over Wi-Fi is that HD-PLC uses 128-bit encryption for added security. The main draw is likely to be that using the power circuits makes for rock-solid connections with no drop-out or signal fading. And the 190Mbit/s rating (around 80-90Mbit/s in real-world terms) can be used to stream HD video.

President of Panasonic Communications, Kazuyoshi Fujiyoshi, put his finger on the appeal of the new technology: "Our new adapter eliminates unsightly wiring from the living room, study, bedroom and other rooms in the house and gives the not-so-technically-inclined person the power to instantly set up and enjoy the benefits of a secure home LAN."

The new equipment goes on sale in Japan on 9 December and is likely to go global next year, where it will face competition from HomePlug AV and Netgear's similar DS2 technology. was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.