Can We Get the ‘Net from The Outlet?

Ryan Block blogs about a new buzzword; delivering broadband over power lines.

Listen up, Google’s sick of you slowing up their operations with your dialup service, making their servers wait around to send the results of the 800 searches you each perform every day. So they’re stepping it up by dropping $100 million into Current Communications Group, LLC (along with The Hearst Corporation, and Goldman Sachs), who are apparently England’s biggest broadband over powerline company. Take that, NetZero.

But ‘Doctord’ disputed this on

“BPL is a proven failure, and wherever it has been tested around the nation it has been shut down or severely restricted within a short time. The reason: first, power companies are in the power business, not the communications business, and don’t have the ifrastructure to keep the equipment maintained and operating properly. So, they outsource that job, which places another layer of bureaucracy (read cost and time) between them and the customer. Second, and most important, the multiplexed data signals are carried over the powerlines by RF signals which interferes with any nearby police, fire, ambulance, aircraft, ham, and other radio services, and try as they might, the BPL folks can’t get the interference to clear up so that reasonable radio communications can take place near powerlines.

Can you think of where you might drive in a city and NOT be close to a powerline? The Bush administration is pushing it, so the FCC keeps on flogging it as viable, but even they have begun to lose heart. If Google knows something all the scientists don’t, then more power to them — otherwise, they are going to lose their shirts.