BPL not viable in rural areas


There are nearly 40 broadband over power line trials going on in the US, and of those three have gone commercial – in New York, Ohio and Virginia. FCC is backing the technology, and equipment makers like Current Communications Group believe that by end of 2005, there will be equipment that can deliver 15-to-20 megabits per second of broadband access over power lines. And yet, BPL remains a bit of an iffy, because its too expensive and too unreliable, especially in the rural areas. according to the Newark Star Ledger. Mike McWaters, vice president of member services at the Cullman Electric Cooperative in Cullman, Alabama has doubts about BPL. “We still don’t know if BPL is market viable. I think the technology has been proven, but it’s just a matter of the economics,” he told the Star-Ledger. In a similar vein South Central Indiana Electric Membership Cooperative will rollout a commercial trial later this month, with 850 homes, and will offer 200 Kbps Internet service for $30 per month and $99 installation fee. Still, the cooperative is not too sanguine about the prospects – at least for its rural customers. BPL service in rural areas means installing and maintaining repeaters every mile or so. And right now that costs too much.

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