[funsec] Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users (fwd)

Marshall Eubanks tme at multicasttech.com
Wed Mar 14 11:23:43 UTC 2007

On Mar 14, 2007, at 3:02 AM, David Lesher wrote:

> {re: BPL will bring competition...}
> I am totally baffled by all the hype over BPL.
> What is true is the utilities would wet their pants over having
> same. Not for offering Internet access, but so they could read
> every electric meter in realtime, and do load-shedding as well.
> What they SEEM to be doing is trying to convince the Vulture
> Capitalists that BPL makes sense for 'Net access, and "By the way,
> as long as you're paying, we'd like to use it ourselves.."
> But using BPL for 'Net access is well, insane.
> a) It not only makes RF interference out the yingyang; it is also
> highly susceptible to other RF emitters confusing it. So it's
> "Ahh Grasshopper" ish in constantly jumping around retraining
> its spectrum useage, rather like a modem on a bad line.
> Ergo, unpredictable latency/throughput.  That's OK for Jill
> Winecooler's email & baby picture sharing, and totally unacceptable
> for VOIP, XM & other music streaming, TV episode replays,
> YouTube, etc.
> b) It makes the most sense in dense neighberhoods where lots of
> folks share a power trasnformer. [Each one needs a $hunt installed
> to pass the data around the transformer.] I.e: Europe, and maybe
> US dense surburbia/apt houses, and such. But that's exactly where
> DSL & cable are already available...
> c) Note that the equipment installers in b) are not your average
> Cable Guy. They must be $killed HV power linemen in bucket
> trucks etc.
> d) It won't reach DSL/cable fiber speeds Ever. So as demand grows...

I would agree. The last time I looked at the economics of this in  
detail, it
would have been cheaper to have just strung fiber along the electric  
lines, at least for above ground power distribution.

The system I looked at had fiber along the high voltage lines anyway,  
to get enough bandwidth to the neighborhood - i.e., fiber to the  
neighborhood, plus equipment there to put the data onto the copper.  
After that, each transformer requires a shunt. Therefore, each  
transformer requires a truck roll plus equipment to get service. And,  
every time a transformer blows, a new truck roll plus equipment. And,  
many line splices were good enough for power but not good enough for  
data, so these had to be found and replaced. All of this required new  
techs, or extensive training, as the existing techs weren't trained  
for it. All of this was for fairly short run to the house, and fairly  
crappy bandwidth. It seemed much more sensible to me to just run  
fiber along the wires to the house (i.e., to treat the power lines as  
an easement, not a data pipe), but maybe that's just me.


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