Updated: 11/24/2005; 11:34:22 PM.

General networking
Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.


daily link  Friday, October 22, 2004


Cringely gets it about BPL:  The recent Fcc approval of "broadband over power lines (BPL) is going to totally shake up the Internet industry. .. One thing to remember about electric utilities is that they are very slow and deliberate. They move like glaciers, so it will take awhile for these services to be available at your house. But like glaciers, they are also impossible to stop.

The appeal here to an electric company isn't that $20-30 per month they'll charge for becoming your ISP. What matters to them and what makes this whole thing so important is that it will lead to your electric meter being monitored 24/7. That means utilities can start to offer true dynamic pricing, with electric costs dropping in low demand time periods and dramatically rising with high demand. While that sounds bad, the end result is actually good, since for the most part, profits from electricity sales will be regulated. The real end result is that demand will be better controlled by dynamic pricing, and the utility may just be able to forego building that $2 billion power plant they've been planning and saving for over the past 20 years. Dropping $2 billion to the bottom line has to appeal to any board of directors and, in a tightly regulated environment, will probably lead to overall power rates going DOWN, not up.

So this BPL stuff is mainly about getting smart electric meters and only partly about offering Internet service. But having made the effort to build the network, offer it they will, generally through unregulated subsidiaries."  This is particularly interesting for developing and newly industrializing countries that are still building their grids and can design BPL in at the start.

  10:47:09 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:34:22 PM.