Consigned to the Archives or a Future Fact? BPL and Amateur Radio 29 - October - 2007Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
Tags: BPL, Broadband over Power Line, K9ZW, Washington Island, WI-001L
While up on Washington Island, Wisconsin WI-001L, the buzz was a THIRD high-speed Internet option would soon be run in part of the town.
Earlier this year DCWIS (a private firm) completed Island coverage with their Motorola Canopy System. Word is that this system has been very Ham-Friendly and has been adding customers weekly.
Verizon rather quietly appeared to have enabled the high-speed Internet feature on their cellular phone service. At least people have been seen using it!
Now after several years of “next month it will be running” the Island Electrical Co-op is preparing a demonstration run of a very limited BPL installation. FCC permits for the gear have been secured by IBEC and some net connectivity has been arranged with Verizon.
Is this an example of too little (bandwidth) too late? The BPL speeds of 256kb is horribly slow by current high-speed standards.
There is all sorts of scuttlebutt about wonky numbers and infinitely long payback periods circulating about the Co-ops BPL. Given the size of the investment and the RF potential impact it has been amazing that the Co-op has not consulted its shareholders along the way.
Then to be a late third into a small market with the highest infrastructure costs and lowest performance makes the economics look poor.
In general is BPL doomed? There are plenty that say that between its technological limitations, RF pollution potential and weak bandwidth performance, that BPL is yesterday’s technology.
Bob K0NR’s “Slow Death for Broadband Over Power Line (BPL)” is an excellent read on the dwindling economics surrounding BPL.
We’ll have to see what happens on Washington Island. The Island DX Club (WI9DX) and independent amateurs are concerned but of course cooperative provided they are not adversely affected.
Time will tell.