BPL, or the curious case of throwing good money after bad

Broadband over Powerline as a technology is a curiosity at best, and well a long shot at worst. Today Google, Goldman Sachs and Hearst announced that they are going to pump $100 million into Current Communications, an equipment maker for the BPL sector. Why Google would do this, I am not sure, though Mike has some ideas. John Paczkowski riffs, about their motives!

I just want to bring to attention the fact, that despite best efforts, BPL has remained stuck in neutral for a very long time, and there hasn’t been any breakthrough in recent times to make me feel more optimistic. BPL, and a lot of talk about other broadband technologies such as Broadband over Gas and xMax, reminds me of the late 1990s when it was fashionable to spout B2c, B2B and what not. At the time, media companies and investment banks were pumping millions into entities that did not have a prayer. Around that time, utility companies got into the fiber business, and were taken to the cleaners.

Call me old-fashioned, but its the same cycle of irrationality coming back. Cable/DSL and more recently WiFi are technologies that are benefitting from the ever powerful Moore’s Law. The prices continue to come down drastically, the quality of connections gets better, and yet some people are pouring dollars into why I personally see as a hole to nowhere. Oh well, maybe, perhaps sake of Google, I will be proved wrong, but don’t bet against a man who has lived through not one but two bubbles.

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