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View Full Version : "Broadband over power lines" may be getting closer.


MacBytes
Jul 20, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: "Broadband over power lines" may be getting closer. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050720091741)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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ITASOR
Jul 20, 2005, 08:46 AM
A town by us already has this! I heard it's fast.

1macker1
Jul 20, 2005, 08:56 AM
No way do 95% of Americans have hi-speed internet access. Unless they counting some sort of souped up dial-up.

Paul O'Keefe
Jul 20, 2005, 09:32 AM
If this is workable this will be great. I know lots of people in rural areas without cable or DSL. Dialup is the only real solution for them and it's slow. I always worry about sending them attachments that will take them forever to download.

Nickygoat
Jul 20, 2005, 10:15 AM
Oh great - I can swap BT for npower. What a choice ;). And it'll take 10 years to reach "Broadband Britain"
Great idea though.

MacBandit
Jul 20, 2005, 10:56 AM
As I understand it the FCC is actually currently blocking nationwide implementation because of radio interference. The problem is any time you transmit something over the electrical grid the electrical grid acts like a huge antenna that's why the frequency electrical power is transmitted at is so low. The BPL system from the stories I've heard has not only interfered with shortwave transmitters and police/emergency radio but also commercial FM and AM radio. If they can find a way (unlikely) to not interfere in these spectrums then it could become commercially viable.

Right now I think the future is in wireless internet. It's extremely cheap to build an infrastructure and can work within a set frequency spectrum without interfering with other transmission protocols. Also once you subscribe you will eventually be able to get internet access with your laptop any where you go within their network without needing a hot spot or wall outlet. Much more portable then any land based system.

Here's a local wireless internet provider that's spreading all over the country quite rapidly.

http://www.clearwire.com/

nagromme
Jul 20, 2005, 11:18 AM
Any option (if technical problems are solved) sounds fine if it brings prices down. It's not clear that would happen with BPL--it might just fill in for areas that can't get cable/DSL.

Wireless sounds good to me!

Earendil
Jul 20, 2005, 11:29 AM
The problem I see with wireless is that not all "rural" areas are in Oklahoma. I live in the Cascade mountains out in the NW of the US, and driving home I lose cell reception. Get into the wrong valley, or up on the wrong hill, and you're screwed. I'm not so sure putting internet antenna's on every hill is either easy, cheap, or as 100% effective as through a power line. :(

rikers_mailbox
Jul 20, 2005, 11:33 AM
If this is workable this will be great. I know lots of people in rural areas without cable or DSL. Dialup is the only real solution for them and it's slow. I always worry about sending them attachments that will take them forever to download.

It's actually the rural areas that have the hardest time implementing BPL. Older power grids cannot handle BPL because of the high frequencies used to transfer data. The signal can be deteriorated or get lost when is passes through antiquated equipment.

Never-the-less, I think it's a great technology for possibly delivering internet to areas that do not otherwise have the necessary infastructure.

doumbek
Jul 20, 2005, 11:35 AM
I live in north east PA, and I am am in one of the test markets. I've been using it for about a year now, and can say that it's fairly stable.

It's not quite up to Broadband speeds, but it is very comparable to DSL. The only problem I have had, is when there are strong thunderstorms.

The main reason why I switched was that I just can't take dial-up snail's pace, and refuse to get cable television just to get Broadband.

Here's a little link (http://www.pplbroadband.com/) to my service provider for you guys to get some facts.

wdlove
Jul 20, 2005, 11:37 AM
More competition is definitely needed. When it comes to DSL such companies as Verizon are holding on to a monopoly control. The way they are doing business means that any competition is left with charging higher prices and at the lower speed. The electric or wireless would be a way to take control out of the hand of Verizon. It appears that neither electric or wireless via Clearwire are any where near being able to offer the product nationwide.

nagromme
Jul 20, 2005, 12:04 PM
Here's a local wireless internet provider that's spreading all over the country quite rapidly.

http://www.clearwire.com/

Thanks for the link. I can't get the service areas page to work in any browser because a CSS file is missing on their server, but I'll try it later once they fix it.

I'm also unable to find any pricing information. What do their plans start at?

ham_man
Jul 20, 2005, 12:18 PM
What is this, the third thread on this subject? Anyhoo, someone better start offering this. Having no broadband internet in the boonies really sucks...

homeward
Jul 20, 2005, 12:48 PM
I submitted a Stockton CA address and I got a rate of $40 per month for 1.5 Mbs and $30 for half that speed. The first 3 months of either plan is $15 per month. Not offered in many locations.

michaelrjohnson
Jul 20, 2005, 02:38 PM
What is this, the third thread on this subject? Anyhoo, someone better start offering this. Having no broadband internet in the boonies really sucks...
I know!

michaelrjohnson
Jul 20, 2005, 02:40 PM
I submitted a Stockton CA address and I got a rate of $40 per month for 1.5 Mbs and $30 for half that speed. The first 3 months of either plan is $15 per month. Not offered in many locations.

CenterPoint is broadband over power lines.
ClearWire is broadband over cell towers.

I'm not sure which has a bigger future. I think CenterPoint's technology is more applicable because the infrastructure is already in place. While that may be the case with ClearWire in most locations, more places have power than have Cell access. Not sure which one I'd bet my chips on, though. ClearWire offers more freedom, but CenterPoint's enables broadband to the masses.

That aside, your price quote struck me as odd. My brother just signed up for ClearWire in Stockton, CA! Bizarre.

ITR 81
Jul 20, 2005, 06:04 PM
I'm 2 miles out of the range of DSL and Cable has never put lines out our way.

So it's Directv for most folks here and dialup.
We can get Sat. Broadband but I'm not paying $70 bucks a month for internet.

I've heard they tested it here with 45-200Mbps results..and it would include WiFi areas.

I'd be happy with 250-300k downstream and a monthly bill of $19.99-$25.99 a month.

I pay that much now for freakin dialup...which is a freaking rip off from Earthlink. Before Earthlink bought out my ISP it was only $16.99 a month...now it's around $23 a month now.

Eric5h5
Jul 20, 2005, 07:09 PM
I pay that much now for freakin dialup...which is a freaking rip off from Earthlink. Before Earthlink bought out my ISP it was only $16.99 a month...now it's around $23 a month now.

You don't have a Localnet access number? I thought they were pretty much everywhere. $10/month, or $8.33/month if you buy a year's worth in July. Plus I don't remember the last time I ever had a busy signal.

However, it's still dial-up. No cable or DSL where I'm at currently either, not that I'd ever go cable unless they drop their prices, drop the cable TV requirement, and improve service by a lot. Some sort of reasonable broadband at $30 or so would be fine with me; that way I could go VOIP and dump the telephone company...$28/month just for basic service, talk about a rip-off. It was $11/month not too long ago, with another company.

--Eric

homeward
Jul 20, 2005, 09:39 PM
That aside, your price quote struck me as odd. My brother just signed up for ClearWire in Stockton, CA! Bizarre.
I made up an address after looking up Stockton in mapquest... "900 A Street". Don't tell me your brother lives there.

ldenman
Jul 21, 2005, 12:37 AM
my highschool just switched to this after running a T1 line.
it was so freakin slow, i just hope that this makes things run a bit quicker.

edit: i'm sorry, i lie. i just remembered that its a wireless signal, ignore this.

SeaFox
Jul 24, 2005, 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by ham_man
What is this, the third thread on this subject? Anyhoo, someone better start offering this. Having no broadband internet in the boonies really sucks...

I know!

Not to start a flame war here, but does anyone ever consider such things when they pick a place to live?

This reminds me of the woman who bought a house 800 ft from the nearest public utility pole and then complained about having to spend thousands of dollars to get a cable line run up to her house.

I mean, if it's so inconvienent, maybe you should go somewhere else.

MacBandit
Jul 24, 2005, 11:21 PM
Not to start a flame war here, but does anyone ever consider such things when they pick a place to live?

This reminds me of the woman who bought a house 800 ft from the nearest public utility pole and then complained about having to spend thousands of dollars to get a cable line run up to her house.

I mean, if it's so inconvienent, maybe you should go somewhere else.


Yup I looked into broadband before I bought my house.

MacBandit
Jul 24, 2005, 11:25 PM
The problem I see with wireless is that not all "rural" areas are in Oklahoma. I live in the Cascade mountains out in the NW of the US, and driving home I lose cell reception. Get into the wrong valley, or up on the wrong hill, and you're screwed. I'm not so sure putting internet antenna's on every hill is either easy, cheap, or as 100% effective as through a power line. :(


Agreed I have lived most of my life in the hills SE of Eugene, OR in the Cascades and know exactly what your issue is. The problem is out where I grew up the power lines and the phone lines are so poor that there's no way of getting any broadband over them and in fact regular dial up is maxed at about 14400 due to line noise. Wireless is a very large potential as you can use small inexpensive transceivers to transmit from the nearest source. There are communities in California that are installing these for themselves in order to have high speed access. The hardware is getting cheaper and cheaper and it's infinitely cheaper than running miles of new data lines of any kind to peoples houses.