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

  • From: Marshall Eubanks
  • Date: Wed Mar 14 07:26:29 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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