Cisco backs power line networking startup

Cisco backs power line networking startup

Cisco Systems on Monday became one of the first financial backers for a start-up that will make equipment for delivering networking services over power lines.

The new company, Amperion, will design, develop and sell networking hardware and software designed to enable high-speed data delivery over medium-voltage power lines, Amperion said in a statement.

Along with Cisco, the company has secured financial backing from energy company American Electric Power Co. and Redleaf Group Inc., which helps start-ups with services and capital, Amperion said. The amount of the investments was not disclosed and Amperion couldn't immediately be reached.

Amperion will focus on medium voltage power line communications (PLC) to allow data to be delivered over utility lines and into homes and businesses of end users, the company said. Amperion expects its products to enable customers to use existing power line infrastructure for high-speed data transport, allowing broadband access companies to expand their offerings and reach new markets in a competitive environment, Amperion said in a statement.

Potential customers include unregulated telecom subsidiaries of power utilities and other types of telecommunications service providers, the company said.

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