Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Texas to get broadband over its power lines

CNET News reports Two Texas companies have announced a plan to offer high-speed Internet service over the power grid. The plan was announced on Monday by Current Communications Group, a service provider that specializes in broadband service over power lines (BPL), and TXU Electric Delivery, the largest electric company in Texas. The companies estimate that roughly 2 million homes and businesses in northern Texas will be able to subscribe to the new service when the network is complete. Current Communications--which has built a similar network over Cincinnati's power lines with local utility company Cinergy--will design, build and operate the new broadband network. Deployments will begin in 2006, the companies said.... Service speeds and pricing details haven't been released, but Current said the network will have enough capacity to offer customers a "triple play" package, which would include telephony, TV service and high-speed Internet access. Users will be able to access the high-speed broadband network by plugging a device into an electrical outlet in the wall.

The Telephone company has gotten upset when various cities offerrd or suggested offering Free WiFi, imagine what they are going to say about this.

We are already faced here in Tulsa with our Cable provider strongly pushing its Telephone service so that it can provide Cable TV, Broadband, and phone service, and Southwestern Bell pushing its satellite TV service and DSL so it can provide all three. Imagine what the market would be like if PSO (the local power company) also wanted to provide all three services.

Personally I dont like one provider providing all three. I believe Cox's Digital Cable is far superior to Satellite TV (better in storms, and less expensive when you consider hidden fees), and their Broadband is much faster and technicians much better trained than Bell's DSL service. But I would not give them my phone service. How would I call in and report an outage during the rare, but still non-zero times when the cable service goes out? The same problem would happen if Bell or the power company provided all three services.

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