Freeplug: Freebox HD, the first box with power line communication (PLC) technology at no additional cost

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
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Consistent with its strategy of offering more services with no change in rates (29.99 euros/month), Free is now offering Freeplug. This innovation, which is included in the broadband offering, uses standard implementation of power line communication (PLC) technology to link two Freebox HD modems.

Power line communication (PLC) is a technology used for sending digital information via the electricity grid.

Free has decided to add the last version of this technology (Homeplug AV) to the power supply for the two Freebox HD modems.: Freeplugs.

With Freeplugs, Free users can connect at no additional cost through a secure link at speeds up to 200 MBPS between ADSL and HD modems, which allows them to choose the location of the Freebox HD modem providing multimedia services without worrying about the distance to the ADSL modem. Freeplug is plug and play.

Freeplug provides the advantage of a long-distance link that preserves the bandwidth and the quality of the information flow. With this technology, users benefit from maximum quality multimedia services, including High Definition channel distribution, equivalent to the quality achieved when two modems are used side by side.

Free users will also be able to connect their computer to the ADSL modem of the Freebox HD through PLC by ordering a Freeplug adapter which will be soon available on the online store.

Free is thus the first ADSL operator to include this technology with its Box at no additional cost. In fact, no Internet operator currently provides a standard PLC solution for remote linkage between a network connection and television equipment in their offers. Subscribers of competing operators have to purchase the equipment to do this, offering this option for an average price of 160 euros for a pair of 200 megabit PLC boxes.

In addition, Freebox HD still includes Wi-Fi Mimo for wireless connection of computers to the ADSL modem.

All new subscribers in unbundled areas will receive a Freebox HD with Freeplug. Existing subscribers in unbundled areas equipped with a prior version of Freebox can obtain the new Freebox HD Freeplug right now, subject to availability, and subject to the terms for renewal, which can be found on the online account management pages. Freebox HD users will be soon able to order Freeplugs.

The Freebox offer is available only when telephone lines meet eligibility requirements.

This offer is restricted to certain conditions. Theoretical speed.

The average price for PLC modems for offers of competitors is provided for reference only, based on prices available on operators’ site as of January 22, 2008.

Free is a subsidiary of Iliad. The Iliad Group is a major player in the Internet access and telecommunications market in France with Free (2,767,000 ADSL subscribers on 09/30/2007), Onetel and Iliad Télécom (fixed-line telephony operators)