I have read more broadband-over-powerline stories this weekend than ever before. Barrons, Telephony, and every single magazine/newspaper is buzzing about BPL, despite the fact that most of the trials of this technology have not worked out. FCC obviously has done a great job to refocus the media from its FTT-X disaster to BPL. Funny thing is the guys who are supposed to be all excited about BPL are well not excited. Here is a little something from Pittsburgh Gazette.
Western Pennsylvania’s two largest electric utilities, Allegheny Power and Duquesne Light Co., both said that broadband over power lines is something they have examined, but neither is rushing to promote the technology. Matthew Davis, an analyst with the Yankee Group, said attracting sufficient numbers of customers will be a tough sell for utility companies. “There almost is a disincentive for utilities to get involved in broadband. The investment community is scrutinizing closely anything the utility industry is doing, and any large telecom project would be frowned upon. Plus, from a pure market entry perspective, you have very strong incumbent broadband providers in place that also offer bundled services.”
But the utility companies that would actually deploy the services remain overwhelmingly skeptical. Of the nearly 160 investor-owned utilities in the United States, dozens have tried out ”broadband over power line” systems. Only one — Cinergy Corp. in Cincinnati — has moved ahead with a significant commercial rollout, so far attracting barely 1,500 subscribers. Dozens of utilities that ran trials of the service in the last three years took a pass on making a business venture of it.