Skip to comments.IBM eyes stimulus funds for broadband over power lines
Posted on 04/18/2009 8:23:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
NEW YORK (Reuters) - IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) plans to take advantage of the U.S. economic stimulus package signed earlier on Tuesday by offering Internet services over power lines to more rural consumers. IBM said its venture with International Broadband Electric Communications (IBEC), a company that provides broadband over power line (BPL) services, had begun to sign up Internet customers in rural parts of Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Virginia and that it hoped to access more government funds.
The economic stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama included $2.5 billion for the Agricultural Department to expand broadband service in rural America.
International Business Machines Corp Chief Executive Sam Palmisano was one of several U.S. business leaders who met with Obama late last month, and IBEC's chief executive is set to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to see how much of that funding would be available to the venture.
BPL technologies use radio signals which help connect Internet service over electric power lines. Consumers can access the Internet by plugging modems into power outlets.
Such services are widely seen as slower and less reliable than that of cable and phone providers, which offer increasingly fast connections as well as online video services with the help of fiber-optic networks and advanced network gear.
But IBM said the IBEC venture's service is aimed at remote and sparsely populated areas where advanced Internet services are not available, meaning the only competition would be traditional dial-up services which are even slower.
IBM said it did not know how much government funds it could receive but that the venture would proceed regardless, and that it expects broader Internet use to stimulate the economy and help create more business opportunities in the long run.
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What are their plans for selling bandwidth, 20gb caps with $2.00 overage fees for each additional gb? I’d like to think that anyone new getting into the ISP business heard customers loud and clear when they told Time Warner to stuff it.
Gridline Communications has the patent on this technology.
This is the company who wanted to buy SUN for 6 billion and now wants public money to expand their business? This is the company who sold their PC business to the Chinese because it wasn’t making a profit and the Chinese made a profit in the first quarter?
I guess that’s why Sam was on stage with Obama giving him tounge. I was listening to one of the high muckity-mucks in a meeting about how “excited” they are and are backing Obama’s “World Order” vision.
Not to mention IBM laying off US workers while hiring in India. 4000 laid off in January, 5000 more in March and they’re projecting up to 10,000 by the end of the year. Almost all of them were in the US.
IBM is the Xerox of our time.
Isn’t this technology eclipsed by wireless broadband in the same way that Hughesnet is?
Aren’t the dedicated line-of-sight microwave based rural systems even faster? I know an area around Stillwater, Okla. that has this and people think it is a great alternative to broadband and the absence of DSL or cable.
I got laid off for being in a division like that. We made money, and the business was actually growing, but it wasn't worth it to HQ.
“Isnt this technology eclipsed by wireless broadband in the same way that Hughesnet is?”
I know it’s slower and that, according to HAM radio operators, it causes a lot of interference on the AM broadcast bands.