Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

BPL Overcomes FCC Hurdle

As expected, the FCC ruled Friday that Broadband over Power Line (BPL) be classified as an “information service”. With this ruling, BPL now is on an equal playing field with DSL and cable modem service. While deployment of BPL remains sparse in the United States, this ruling could spark a renewed interest and increased investment in the technology.

Touted as a possible avenue to provide high speed services to rural areas, it remains uncertain if BPL can be a cost effective option. However, the use of BPL technology could provide solutions in two viable areas. A more immediate use of BPL could be in the field of monitoring. Sometimes referred to as “smart grid” technology, BPL’s duplex communication capabilities would allow utility companies to monitor and better manage demand and quickly troubleshoot issues. Secondly, BPL gives companies, such as Google and EarthLink, a network to leverage and differentiate themselves from their DSL and Cable competitors. Google and EarthLink have already made investments in companies that provide BPL products and services.

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