Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Broadband over Powerline (BPL)

I caught an update on this technology in a July article. But here's what I found out initially:
Internet access over power lines gains momentum - Jan. 25, 2005

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Web surfers unable to hook up to limited high-speed connections have quietly suffered the pains of clunky, slow Internet service because they had no choice; and they had to stay connected.

But thanks to broadband over powerline (BPL) technology, high-speed connections may soon be available to anyone with electricity.

For example, the prestigious Trump Place in New York City has hired Telkonet (up $0.22 to $6.02, Research), a company that provides broadband access via electrical wiring, and Microwave Satellite Technologies to provide its residents with Internet access that's as easy to use as plugging in a toaster.

<....>"We are excited about Telkonet's breakthrough technology because we can broadband-enable an entire building within a few days and without new wiring. (And residents) can enjoy broadband access from every electrical outlet in their apartment," Matarazzo added.
<....>BPL feeds low-power radio signals over power lines. A BPL modem plugs into a regular electrical outlet, receives the radio signals from power lines and converts them into a digital Internet connection.
<....>While there are still bugs to be worked out, BPL quietly marches on with city pilot programs opening in Detroit, Cincinnati and Sault St. Marie, Ontario; and businesses like the Sandman Hotel chain in Canada installing Internet access customers can plug-in to.
<....>The costs of rolling out the service should be relatively small, since the electrical grid is widespread and the potential returns are high, the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement late last year after changing its rules to encourage the development of BPL.
<.....>And the service may prove less expensive than some other Internet service options. For example, Manassas resident pay $28.99 a month for BPL, while residential hi-speed cable modem from Comcast costs $42.99 a month. Moreover, most homes and businesses are on the grid, but do not have a pre-existing cable modem infrastructure.

While no major players have surfaced as leaders in the new technology, 50 companies have joined together to form the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, established to create the standard products for BPL home networking.

This is the article I found in July -
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Utility operator CenterPoint Energy Inc. and IBM will team up to test new technologies for delivering high-speed Internet access over electrical powerlines, the companies said Monday.

CenterPoint (up $0.19 to $13.49, Research) has opened a technology center at one of its facilities in Houston, with design help from IBM (up $1.92 to $79.30, Research), and has also launched a trial of broadband over powerline (BPL) to a 220-home area in Houston, they said.

CenterPoint said its BPL pilot will run through this August, after which it will evaluate consumer response and the merits of a larger deployment.

I did a quick search and today and really didn't find out anything new about this. Does anyone have some good news on this technology?

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