Work Experience: Day Two – 28 June 2011

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SEEING DOUBLE_The computers were each wired up to a power line device, manufactured by Devolo.

After my exam this morning, my work experience employer (Virgin Media) allowed me to ‘work from home’ today, testing power line devices in my bedroom. They work by carrying data signals over the existing electric mains wiring system in your house, meaning that even buildings that haven’t been rewired in the last twenty years can enjoy the advantages of the faster speeds of a wired network (rather than relying on Wi-Fi).

It’s interesting stuff, not least because it’s the same principle that my father was working on whilst in his first salaried job, working for Taplow firm Plessey (which, in fact, is what brought him to Maidenhead) and running communication experiments to see if such an idea was possible. Of course, the technology’s moved on greatly since then and today I managed to share huge files in lightning speed (~70Mbit/sec).

On Thursday, I’ll be driven around Maidenhead, rocking up on friend’s driveways, and experimenting with the devices in yet more domestic settings. The idea of this is to see how well they perform when used in houses with varying ages of wiring. Tomorrow, I’m in London again (as I was on Monday), attending a show at the ExCeL centre.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.