Skip to comments.Power companies enter broadband market (very interesting)
Posted on 10/17/2005 10:11:58 AM PDT by rawhide
CINCINNATI--The idea has been around for years. In Spain and elsewhere in Europe, utility companies have long offered high-speed Internet service to consumers over their power lines.
But American utilities are only now beginning to roll out broadband connections on their grid.
For Jim Hofstetter, a salesman for Cadbury Schweppes, the food and beverage company, this new option was far better than the high-speed connection he used for years from his local cable provider.
"I would never go back now that I have this," said Hofstetter, who often works from his home office in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati. He pays $30 a month for the service from Current Communications, an Internet service provider, which uses the power lines run by Cinergy, the local utility in Cincinnati. That cost is about $15 cheaper than comparable Internet access from either Cincinnati Bell or Time Warner Cable. The Current service can be piped into any electrical outlet in Hofstetter's home, with no reduction in speed even when he, his wife and their three daughters are online at the same time. All that is needed is a baseball-size jack that plugs into the wall and is connected to a computer with an Ethernet cable.
Known as broadband over power line, or BPL, the service is poised to challenge the cable and phone companies that dominate the high-speed Internet market. Instead of burying cables and rewiring homes, BPL providers use the local power grid, which means that any home with electricity could get the service.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.com ...
National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative...all sorts of services for rural areas, including new high-speed satellite internet.
We have the so-called high speed satellite. While faster than dial-up it is less than DSL and much more expensive. than dial-up
Wonder how they get around isolation transformers?
It can also severely hamper shortwave, including Ham, radio communications.
Development is supposed to be underway that will deliver broadband directly through existing electrical wiring.
It is supposed to be something like 7x faster than highspeed cable.
Some DSL prices have dropped significantly, except for isolated areas not served by the big Bells and telecoms. Centurytel is still high priced. Cable HS in my area runs about $40 for the 4MiB download speed.
I am clueless about this.
Would High Speed Internet effect the power grid in any way?
I would not want to live with another power outage like we did a few years ago.
This company is about to go public.
Time to sell your cable TV and internet-over-cable stocks...
Meaning, what? About .0001% of the population?
Are you talking about DirectWay? There's a new service out, called WildBlue.
Right now there is free wireless in downtown neighborhoods in Cincinnati.
I like this from the article:
'They have two broadband adapters that they can move to any outlet in the house. When Hofstetter takes his computer to a different room in the house, he takes an adapter with him, plugs it in and is instantly connected to the Internet. He can buy extra adapters for about $30.'
Meaning the next time your town is hit by a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, etc. the 100% of the population depending on the guy down the street who used to be involved in ham/emergency communications will be stuck.
That guy gave up his hobby after being wiped out by interference. The fact the the interference is gone during the emergency, and corresponding power outage is irrelevant. He got rid of his gear already. So sorry, no comms.
I am not a techician but never understood why there was that big of a problem serving rural areas. The towns have high speed at reasonable rates and they are basically the same distance from any really large urban areas as we are.
By a rough estimate, your guess is at least three orders of magnitude too small.
From the article:
'In the meantime, BPL providers have been besieged with complaints from ham radio operators, who say that BPL signals interfere with their radio signals. The National Association for Amateur Radio said that Current had done a better job than other BPL providers in avoiding frequencies that ham radio users occupy.'
A few years ago I was listening to german radio and they mentioned that during the 1920's they could broadcast world wide with only 500 watts.
Page down this link:
For BPL info, typical pricing, etc.
For Internet users, BPL service offers:
Always-on high-speed Internet access from power outlets throughout the home or business
Voice over IP capability for lower-cost telephony services over the network
Upload and download access at the same high speeds
Local area networking from all power outlets over existing electrical wiring without any additional wiring or equipment
Faster speeds at a lower monthly cost than other broadband services
Multiple speeds and pricing plans to meet individual needs and budgets
True Plug-and-Play installation with no router or installation CD for activation within minutes.
Charges for small business have not yet been released but Current lists these monthly residential fees that will probably be a fairly accurate indicator of the pricing that can be expected from other companies:
Maximum speed of 1 Mbps = $29.95
Maximum speed of 2 Mbps = $34.95
Maximum speed of 3 Mbps = $39.95
Also this link for more info:
I'm a geek, so hams are fine with me, but sounds like you guys need to find a tech solution, and fast, because BPL appears to be one of those classic Very Good Things, and poised to take on the cable/DSL extortionists.
If it comes to a choice, guess which way it's going to go?
Yes BPL causes interference to other bands for HAM radio and elsewhere. They need to shut it down because it has been proven to cause harmful interference.
A function of cost to deply fiber, head-end equipment and routers versus what they get back from billing you $40/month.
Not so great for radio communications near these powerlines.
Check out what ham radio operators have to say about this.
Do they have a ticker symbol yet? The web site wouldn't permit me to log in for further information.
"Would High Speed Internet effect the power grid in any way?"
No. The waveform that carries information is much higher frequency and MUCH smaller in terms of voltage and current.
Kind of like a flea riding on the back of an elephant.
No ticker, no red, and they plan to trade OTC.
Nice try. If the SHTF, then the power would be down and hence no BPL interference. I am a HAM and I have heard the "ELMER" arguments until I can't stand the whining any more. HAM will adapt and it will survive. Just like the old "Elmers" are bemoning the dropping of the code requirement, it is time to get away from vacumn tubes and come into the 20th century.
"I am not a techician but never understood why there was that big of a problem serving rural areas. The towns have high speed at reasonable rates and they are basically the same distance from any really large urban areas as we are."
Its really more of a business problem than a technical problem. The towns have enough population density to make it worthwhile for cable companies to wire those areas.
If they want to serve the rural areas, they're faced with running a whole lotta cable for relatively few subscribers.
The telephone companies probably would have never run their cables out their either if it wasn't part of their compact w/ the gvt in return for a monopoly.
One major impediment would be the rights of way agreements already used by power providers. Most of them were procured when land was cheap and the power company generally doesn;t own all that land. The ROW for power lines generally limits them to the transmission and distribution of electrical power. The phone companies then chirped in for communication paths.
The only significant defense for cable TV and telephony markets will probably be the ROW issue. Otherwise, it's a no-brainer,...whomever owns the major single conductor entering the overhead will control the bandwidth as well.
Sorry to hear that about ham radio operators. Now for my world, when can I get the BPL here in AZ?
Ham Radio Operators to the Rescue After Katrina
Amateur radio networks help victims of the hurricane
I have cable broadband, but it is extremely expensive. I anxiously await the day when competitors come in and run cable out of business. Cable is a ridiculous rip off.
I wish ISPs had alternatives besides slow (dialup) and fast (wireless, DSL or cable). My dialup gives me a painfully-slow 26K connection for 9.95/month. The more expensive dialups are no faster, I've tried them. I'm too far away from the telco for better speed. If someone would offer me, say, a true 56K for $20 a month I'd jump at it. I like web surfing, but not enough to pay $50 or more per month.
ham radio is a mind bogglingly inefficient use of bandwith.
sorry, I meant bandwidth.
Well, the interference can work both ways. So if your local ham has to fire up his kilowatt amp in order to communicate and it wipes out your BPL, I won't shed any tears.
This isn't the only reason. Verizon is starting to offer cable TV to compete directly with Comcast and the others. And as they roll out the high speed internet connections, they are cutting DSL to $15/mo.
Now if they start offering tv signals over the power lines....
bring it on !
Do you know anything about radio at all? If you do, tell me how efficent CW is compared the other modes. Hell, how about SSB?
No, but I got 36 hits using Copernic.
You don't. Either you need an optical bridge (boku $$$), or one of the cleverer solutions is that you basically use the power lines as a backbone feeding a set of wireless nodes.