Brasilia, Brazil --- (METERING.COM) --- September 1, 2009 - Brazil’s energy regulator Aneel (Agéncia Nacional de Energia Elétrica) last week approved resolution 375/2009 setting out the conditions for the use of the electricity distribution infrastructure for powerline communications (PLC).

Opening the way for data transmission, voice, image and high speed internet via powerline, the main aim of the regulation is to increase the level of “digital inclusion,” with more than 95 percent of the population having access to electricity. However, the regulation also is expected to help facilitate the rollout of the smart grid in Brazil.

In terms of the regulations investments needed in the network will be borne by the telecommunications companies, and the electricity distributors must use a significant portion of their earnings from leasing their network for data transmission to reduce electricity tariffs for consumers.

The regulations require that the use of PLC technology should not impact the quality, reliability and provision of electricity supply.

The regulations also state that distributors may make use of the PLC technology in their distribution activities and for experimental or scientific purposes. Such activities would include remote metering, remote disconnection/reconnection of supply, power supply monitoring and remote monitoring of the grid, Aneel says.

Aneel also notes that in terms of the laws governing the electricity sector the distributors may not themselves provide an internet service to consumers, but they may create a subsidiary for this purpose.