Yahoo Calls BPL a “Bust”

A Yahoo tech blogger, writing about the recent closing of the Manassas, VA BPL system, notes:

The big problem with BPL is that power lines are unshielded and subject to interference, and pushing data that is highly dependent on accurate delivery was impractical and, in the end, extremely slow and buggy. The FCC and others had hoped a third type of competitor in the broadband business would be good for the industry, but as Techdirt notes, power utilities simply didn’t want to become Internet service providers.

I feel bad for the cities, like Manassas, that were sold a bill of goods in deciding to adopt BPL, but it’s heartening to see a bad technology being scrapped.


  1. Mike W2MJZ says:

    After the hopeful final and complete demise of BPL, our HF spectrum will most likely no longer be in the direct cross hairs of the commercial interests. But none-the-less, our HF spectrum will become less and less usable over time as the proliferation of wide band low power nuisance devices become ever more common in our denser RF urban environments and thus bring up the noise floor to ever higher and higher levels. Actually, as the commercial interests abandon ever more unneeded HF spectrum, in the next few decades we might actually be able to gain additional HF spectrum if the ARRL has enough funds to pay for the required lawyers and lobbyists.

    But the real battles will not be over HF…

    Already, our largest “trading partner” is poised to dump any number of cheaper and cheaper high tech “wireless” devices on to the North American consumer markets, which in small numbers might not be any significant threat, but there are a lot of consumers out there looking for bargains, and very very few of us around to pay for the required political currency to protect our turf. For example, go look at the “Wireless RF Transceiver 431-470MHz GFSK Data Transfer x 2″ for $39.95, or the actual channel configuration of the “2.4G 2W Wireless Audio/Video Transmitter & Receiver” for $56.99, both of which are found in Buy-it-Now auctions on eBay. (They are but the tip of a vast RF hungry iceberg which is heading towards our shores.)

    The real battleground will be that of our actual spectrum crown jewels which are located well above Six Meters which are at this very moment so very coveted by the major commercial interests, with their very deep pockets to spend on lawyers, lobbyists, and significant political donations. In the coming “half decades” even our own native commercial interests will be relentlessly attempting to chip away at our precious spectrum jewels which they covet for any number of new and improved broadband wireless technologies.

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