By Jack Gee European power companies are embracing Powerline, a U.S. technology for moving data along power lines. Nadine Berezak, managing director of BMP Telecommunications Consultants GmbH, Berlin, says more than 2.5 million European households could be using it within two years. Power suppliers Electricite de France (EDF), Italy's Enel, and Germany's Veba AG are currently giving Powerline trials. Powerline enables industrial users to send data along existing power lines instead of installing extensive telecommunications cabling. Highlighting the appeal of Powerline, EDF strategy manager Jean-Francois Droubay said: "When a washing machine breaks down, the American technology enables a precise message to be sent down a power line, informing a repair team of the nature of the problem and speeding corrective action." Germany is well ahead of the rest of Europe in adopting Powerline because its power grid is better structured for this purpose, BMP's Berezak says. The Netherlands, Britain, and the Scandinavian countries also are well positioned. There is a promising potential too in Asia, where the telecom infrastructure is still poorly developed.