News
Commentary
11/4/2004
09:20 AM
Peter Morrissey
Peter Morrissey
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Broadband Over Powerlines Gets FCC Plug

The new BPL technology delivers broadband service over electric utility facilities, providing a broadband alternative to rural and monopoly-dominated regions.

If you want an alternative to DSL and cable broadband services, ask your local power company. The FCC has approved specifications for BPL (Broadband over Power Line), an emerging technology that lets carriers transport data over the same lines electrical utilities use to deliver power. BPL promises to provide broadband service to areas that don't have DSL or cable, and it could provide competition in areas dominated by a single cable company or DSL provider.

Critics have worried that BPL could interfere with frequencies used by ham radio operators and government agencies. But the FCC guidelines call for filtering techniques and agreements to avoid implementation in select areas.

BPL also can be used to manage the power grid. Companies like New Visions and Current Technologies are already testing BPL across the United States. The technology holds even greater promise for remote areas that can't get DSL or cable. In some cases, BPL may be used to extend Wi-Fi or WiMAX closer to rural subscribers.

BPL services will be rolled out based on demand. So if you haven't already done so, tell your power provider you're interested in reasonably priced, high-performing, ubiquitous broadband connectivity. BPL could be your ticket out of monopoly services.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A UBM Tech Radio episode on the changing economics of Flash storage used in data tiering -- sponsored by Dell.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.