Houston Utility Ponders Broadband


CenterPoint Energy Inc. -- which serves 5 million homes in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Minnesota -- has launched a broadband-over-power-line test in the Houston area.

IBM Corp. is providing project management and support, as well as equipment monitoring. Cisco Systems Inc., Amperion, Broadband Energy Networks Inc., IDACOMM, Itron Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. are also supplying technology.

CenterPoint said it will choose 50 homes in a 220-home service area in southwest Houston to test broadband-data speeds over power lines. The test will run until August.