UK cable subscribers will soon be able to access high availability broadband internet connections from set-top boxes.
Cable operators Telewest and NTL will begin trials of Pace Micro's home networking devices in February. If successful, the adoption of broadband services in the home could rocket.
A cross section of subscribers will be offered Pace's Gateway Expander, which connects to the set-top box's Ethernet port, along with the pcConnect device that plugs into the USB port on a PC.
The set-top box delivers the broadband connection via a cordless DECT connection, eliminating the need for re-wiring in the home. The product has been designed to be used in any room in the home via a PC or laptop.
Pace spokeswoman Helen Kettleborough said that the company is optimistic about the product's capabilities.
"The first objective is to see how it reacts in real life," she explained. "But there's no reason why we couldn't see it being generally available at the end of this year or early next year."
She added that the package will be priced to be attractive to consumers. "We are well aware that pricing is key and that anything over £150 would be overpriced," she said.
The trials will continue for eight weeks, and any alterations will be made before the Pace offering becomes generally available.
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