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Summary:

Nearly 10,000 homes in and around the city of Grand Ledge, west of Michigan’s capital, Lansing will soon be part of a Broadband over Powerline (BPL) pilot project that is being developed by utility.net, a LA-based BPL network services provider. The broadband service will be offered […]

Nearly 10,000 homes in and around the city of Grand Ledge, west of Michigan’s capital, Lansing will soon be part of a Broadband over Powerline (BPL) pilot project that is being developed by utility.net, a LA-based BPL network services provider.

The broadband service will be offered at three speed tiers – 768 Kbps symmetrical, 1.5 Mbps symmetrical and 3.0 Mbps symmetrical – and will be offered over Consumers Energy’s lines. If you happen to live in that area, let us know when the service goes live and what kind of speeds you are actually getting. I personally remain pretty skeptical about BPL and all the claims around it. (PR Newswire)

  1. After reading an infinite amount of articles detailing how North American broadband is so far behind our European and Asian friends, can someone please tell me why this is even news!?

    Of the three tiers listed here, the max is 3.0 Mbps! This is not news. In fact is shouldn’t even be publicized. It’s something to be ashamed of.

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  2. Om, this is Loring Wirbel from EE Times, thanks for running this, as Grand Ledge is my hometown. Consequently, I’ve been following the Consumers Energy BPL story closely. The service was originally to be provided by Lighthouse as the service provider, but apparently they went belly up.

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  3. I’m an old friend of George Rotsky’s (EET Editor Emeritis) and I’m sure George R. would be laughing his head off at BPL “enthusiasts” were he still here and he’d pen this tale….

    Charlie was sure that BPL was very high tech and exactly what his utility company needed so instead of concentrating on doing what he could do best (delivering reliable affordable electric power, George paid millions for BPL to be installed on his system; he put all his trust in the promises of the BPL hawkers. Of course, none of them came through and Charlie went bankrupt.

    Many of us have been laughing at BPL ever since it reared it’s ugly head yet again (it’s a perennial favorite of power companies who say “we have the copper!”.
    BPL is a scam designed to milk the greedy venture capitalists and gullible electric power companies.

    Have you read about how the nation’s infrastructure just got a “D” rating? Did you note that the electric companies were included with bridges and roads? Why?

    Well, since deregulation (not to mention Enron) the electric industry has not significantly invested in the basic infrastructure (except when a tornado, flood or hurricane comes along and rips out the old equipment). So now along comes BPL to overbuild on this rotting infrastructure? Does that sound like a good idea to you?

    Most of the companies can’t configure their firewalls properly so I can send a simple e-mail to them. I have to call my customers to tell him/her that my e-mail is blocked and they call their IT people who reply “but he’s in our white list, it must be his problem”.

    You really expect them to be able to make BPL work (assuming the technology itself is sound)?

    And, oh by the way, lets not forget how the FCC is ignoring ham radio complaints about interference. What happens when there is another 9/11 emergency and BPL systems are clogging the airwaves? What happens when hurricanes, tornados, etc.. wreak havoc on the electric system so that lights aren’t on? You BPL customers going to call the power company and say “my BPL is down!” and you know what they will say? “We need to concentrate on getting power back THEN we will fix the BPL system.

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  4. I’ve got a BPL connection, and I have been completely floored by it.

    A definite nay-sayer prior to personally using it, my symmetric speeds hover between 8-12 Mbps depending on the destination. I’ll blog about it later, but my assessment is that if they can scale the service and beef up their web support system, it’s going to make a difficult sell for U-verse and maybe even FiOS where ever BPL service is available.

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  5. I ´m also skeptical about BPL opportunities for end users, however I´m excited about PLC-in-building opportunities. Low voltage PLC is not harmful for radio amateurs and have enormous potential.

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