TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Electric Powerlines to be Used For Broadband

Re: Electric Powerlines to be Used For Broadband

John Stahl (
Thu, 06 Oct 2005 18:17:07 -0400

Previously published:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A couple things I do not understand
> about voice communication over electrical power lines: Some say it
> will not work; others say it is okay. <clip>

The real bottom line measurement for potential deployment is probably
cost. The existing technology of "transmitting" broadband over a
medium to/from the end-user is pretty mature technology (for example
DSL, broadband over cable, wireless, etc.) and therefore probably able
to offer much lower costs than BPL will ever offer.

The following article indicates that one of the major power companies
(Pittsburgh Power and Light, Allentown, PA) in field testing phase of
BPL (Broadband Over Power Line) technology has decided to
"pull-the-plug" and not pursue widespread deployment.

Full article at:

> custlogo.gif
> 10/04/2005
> PPL Corp.ditches Internet program

> Intense competition and the high cost of a full-scale rollout prompted PPL
> Corp. on Monday to ditch a year-old pilot program that offered residential
> customers Internet service over the electric company's power lines.

According to earlier published articles about this technology, the
basics of design came from research and development of European power
companies. But their usage differs from potential US deployment from
the basic differences in end-user voltage of 240 VAC (Europe) vs. 120
VAC (US). The European distribution system normally connects something
like 200 - 300 end-users into one (last link) transformer distribution
point while the US power system has something like 4 or so end-users
connected to the (last link) power transformer. This big difference
makes the US proposed BPL system design more expensive than other
deployed methods of supplying broadband to end-users.

Don't be surprised to see many more of the BPL testing power companies
to similarly end their testing and plans for deployment.

John Stahl
Telecom/Data Consultant
Aljon Enterprises

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