Just when you might have thought Broadband over Power Lines was finally dead and buried, here it comes back again. In this iteration, it is IBM and an upstart called IBEC pushing the idea and, yes, putting money behind it. As if we don't have plenty of viable business models in need of investment right now? The idea for BPL this time is to go where the cable and DSL providers aren't, in rural areas where dialup and satellite are the only options right now.
But of course, there is a reason there is no DSL or cable service out there. It has not proven cost effective, else believe me they'd be out there now trying to keep their broadband growth stats up because there aren't enough broadbandless people in the cities to do it. Why on earth would power line broadband, which I seem to recall requires a box to boost the signal every mile or so, not face the same problems out in the boonies?
And then there's the other problem, rural areas do have another option coming down the pike: WiMAX is already being used in a few rural areas, and it would seem to scale better in that type of geography than anything with wires. Won't BPL likely have to face competition anywhere it goes?
So what do IBM and IBEC know that we don't? Heck if I know, but despite my skepticism, I wish them luck. The more last mile competition the cheaper the bandwidth, and the cheaper the bandwidth the more data people can and will use. So go get'em IBM, prove us all wrong if you can.
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