What i see and think sitting here, with a windscreen view on the Internet and the Wireless world.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Power net ?

A big-ticket investment by three corporate heavyweights in a little-known start-up that provides Internet access over electrical lines has sparked renewed interest in a technology that's never come close to living up to its billing.

For several years, many have hoped that the technology, called broadband over power lines, or BPL, would allow electric companies to become a viable third alternative to the cable and telephone companies providing high-speed access to the Internet. It's a sentiment seconded in recent years by the Federal Communications Commission.

Technical limitations and a bad habit of interfering with local emergency radios, however, have made BPL a tantalizing near-miss for the tech industry.

But last week's investment by Web search leader Google, the media conglomerate Hearst and bankers at Goldman Sachs in a Germantown, Md., company called Current Communications Group has many wondering if the time is finally right for the oft-ignored BPL. Current didn't disclose the amount of the investment, but The Wall Street Journal reported it was about $100 million. IBM has also started making noise in this market, announcing on Monday that it is partnering with Houston-based power utility CenterPoint Energy to build a BPL network.

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