Kansai Electric Power Co. of Japan has won an order for equipment associated with powerline communications (PLC), to be installed in China. China is hoping to build up its Internet infrastructure using PLC, and the Kansai Electric Power Co. will offer PLC-based Internet services on a commercial basis in China by the end of 2004.

Up to now Japan has banned the use of PLC technology because it interferes with ham radio transmissions. However, the government has now authorised Japanese companies to test the technology, and Kansai Electric hopes that the expertise it will gain from the installation in China will stand it in good stead if PLC is allowed in Japan in due course.