United Utilities and Nortel Networks have pulled the plug on Nor.Web, the much-hyped joint venture set up to provide internet access and telephone service directly into homes over existing electricity power lines.
Unveiled two years ago, Digital PowerLine technology was touted as potentially revolutionising data access to UK homes and office, with data transfer rates of up to 20 times faster than traditional modems, but the two companies said the market has changed so much that they could no longer justify their investment in it.
Nor.Web's business hinged on licensing the technology to power companies, but not enough deals were signed. John Cooper, chief financial officer of Nor.Web, said: "There were two main disappointments. One was the speed at which trial customers installed the technology; the other was the number of power utilities that committed."
Analysts said the main reason for the project's failure was because PowerLine technology had been eclipsed by emerging broadband standards such as ADSL.
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