Press releases and articles

Power Ethernet closes digital divide for Glasgow Housing Association tenants

26th March 2013 – Powerline Sockets, by leading Powerline Communications (PLC) technology manufacturer Power Ethernet, are being trialled as part of a digital inclusion pilot by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). The scheme looks to provide Internet access to 12 families in the Pollok housing estate in Glasgow, improving their quality of life through online schooling, the ability to pay bills and keep up to date with the welfare reform changes and access to job sites and online shopping discounts.

As of Q4 2012, 7.42 million adults (15% of the UK population) have never used the Internet and do not have access to the web[1]. A substantial portion of these individuals are of working age.At a time in which serious questions are being asked regarding the decision that the forthcoming universal credit system be wholly Internet-based, the subject of digital inclusion is more pressing than ever – yet for housing associations, the high cost associated with providing tenants with individual Internet connections can be prohibitive in closing the digital divide.

GHA has chosen Power Ethernet’s Powerline Socket technology to share and deliver a single Internet connection to six flats.Power Ethernet Sockets use existing mains electrical cabling within a home – in this case, wires installed in the 1980s – to deliver a fast, reliable data connection, avoiding the cost and disruption of having to run new cabling through walls and floors.The solution uses VLAN intelligent switching functionality built into each Power Ethernet Socket to ensure private data is shielded between properties.

Internet access is provided via a TalkTalk superfast broadband contract.Each Power Ethernet T1000 Powerline Socket offers four Ethernet ports and was installed by local installation company City Building.

Evelyn McDowall, GHA’s lead for Digital Inclusion, said: “Getting online and accessing the Internet is increasingly important. Internet access can boost qualifications, improve job prospects and give people access to online discounts which are not available over the counter. It will also allow tenants to access our online services at a time which suits them."

“Over the next couple of years, the drive by UK and Scottish Governments to put most public services online, including welfare benefits, makes it vital for tenants to have an email address and Internet access. This is why we are looking at schemes such as this to see how we can roll out Internet access in the future to all of our social tenants.”

James Gardiner, Marketing Director at Power Ethernet, said: “There is still a large portion of the UK that cannot afford a broadband connection, and is therefore denied access to life-enhancing services and information. Housing associations such as the GHA are in a vital position to approach this, as they can address connectivity ‘per-block’, rather than per-tenant – as this scheme shows. With the Powerline Socket, we can bring an entire block of flats online within hours, and as they share a form factor with a standard mains socket and are wired identically, installation can be completed quickly by local electricians, creating new job opportunities for them.”

[1] http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/2012-q4/stb-ia-2012-q4.html

About Power Ethernet:

Founded in 2011, Power Ethernet is a UK technology start-up with an innovative, new approach to PowerLine-based networking for both home and commercial applications. Powerline is a proven, well-established and recognised standard that uses power cables to create an instant Ethernet network. Power Ethernet’s patent pending integration of Powerline networking technology into electrical sockets provides an effective solution for businesses and home users who seek a simple but elegant solution for creating a high-speed, highly reliable network.

About GHA

  • GHA is part of the Wheatley Housing Group, along with:Cube HA with 3,300 homes for social rent across the West of Scotland, Scotland’s “Feel Good Factor”, YourPlace Property Management, with 25,000 factored homeowners, Lowther Homes with 324 full and mid-market homes to rent from Glasgow’s West End to Leith.
  • GHA is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity, monitored and regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
  • GHA is proud to be a partner in Sustainable Glasgow – a citywide partnership which aims to make Glasgow one of the most sustainable cities in Europe.

For more information visit: http://www.gha.org.uk http://www.sustainableglasgow.org.uk/