Powerline Broadband, perhaps?

Say whatever you may about Jeff Pulver, the guy knows how to spin the media cycle. Today’s decision about FCC on Free World Dial-Up is going to boost a lot of interest in his upcoming VON show. What it also will do is raise the profile of his company, Pulver.com. I think that FCC gave a favorablg ruling to FWD is a great thing, and not just for VoIP people. Had that not been the case, well the Beltway Bandits would have considered regulating email, video streams and god knows what. They left the Internet data streams (does not matter what application data it was) alone and that is a good thing.

However, I think this FWD has been played up too much. For instance, it would not be an issue if Pulver himself had not taken it to the FCC. (Spin Cycle – Phase One is to draw attention!) The most critical issue which is buried in the most stories is the PowerLine Broadband Regulation. I think IDG News comes the closest to explaining this in a clear and coherent manner.

bq. The FCC on Thursday voted to move forward with a process to measure interference caused by broadband over power line service. Broadband over power lines – often called BPL – delivers high-speed Internet access using near ubiquitous power lines, but some licensed users of radio frequency spectrum have complained that BPL interferes with their signals.

bq. Commissioners touted BPL as a potential competitor to digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem service. With power lines nearly everywhere, BPL could provide broadband access to places not served by cable or DSL, FCC chairman Michael Powell said. “It really has the potential of being the great broadband hope for most of rural America,” he said.

I agree for once with Chairman Powell. I think this is another broadside at the current broadband providers – the DSL and Cable companies. I think these two conduits need to figure out a coherent pricing and bandwidth structure. I for one would like to see DSL simply go away. At least the current version of micro-DSL. BPL is a good way to increase broadband options, and create real competition. It will force all parties to think in terms of more realistic and consumer friendly broadband business models. Hey that is just my opinion.

Perhaps the threat of competition in the broadband business is going to stop Brian Roberts from falling into the Mouse Trap.

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