The EU-sponsored powerline project OPERA – Open PLC European Research Alliance – part of the larger broadband project Broadband for All, started work early this year. With OPERA the European Commission is emphasising the importance of powerline for the European broadband market. OPERA is being sponsored within the framework of the initiative eEurope and the Information Society Technologies (IST) project.

It will stretch over two project phases, each lasting two years; the budget for the first phase is €20 million. An international consortium of utilities, technology companies, research institutions and consultants will develop a uniform European powerline standard. The Commission's long-term goal is to further develop the broadband market in Europe, and to establish powerline as an additional pillar beside DSL and cable access.

The second World Summit of PLC Associations will be held on May 25 and 26 in Brussels, Belgium. Aimed at giving a comprehensive vision on how PLC can be used to develop a profitable communications business, it is organised by the PLCforum Association, with the support of the OPERA IST project.

www.plcforum.org