Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Current Communications and AT&T Settle BPL Dispute

AT&T's lawsuit, which threatend to delay TXU and Current's plans to deploy broadband services over power lines, has been resolved. Earlier in the month, AT&T filed a restraining order against Current Communications claiming their BPL equipment, installed on utility poles, posed a safety risk to their workers. Current countered by filing a complaint with the Texas Public Utility Commission claiming this was an attempt to delay their plans of offering high-speed internet to customers in the Dallas area. Under the agreement, Current will now notify AT&T in advance which poles they will be installing the BPL equipment.

This resolution puts Current's plans of providing diagnostic or "smart grid" services to TXU this year back on track. It is reported that Current has already installed equipment on 520 poles along 23 miles in the University Park and Highland Park areas. Although Current and TXU also plan to offer broadband services to customers, it is unclear when this will be available. However, it is likely other BPL equipment providers and utility companies were paying close attention to this issue as more BPL pilot programs are scheduled to launch in the United States in 2007.

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