Whatever happened to Broadband over Power Line?
It looked like a meeting of technologies that promised much in principle, but the marriage of high-speed data and mains electricity supply has proved to be a challenge too far for the engineers hoping to channel broadband over power lines.
Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) is a technology that looked a highly promising proposition on paper: piggyback data communication signals on to existing power cables which already deliver electricity into homes and businesses, saving the provider the effort of digging up the environment or erecting wireless masts to provide the same Internet connections to computers and other connection devices. The technology was once lauded by national governments, the European Union (EU), and even the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), given its apparent ease of deployment and negligible environmental impact.
Alas, the plaudits ended there. After numerous, global trials of the technology spanning the last decade, access BPL initiatives have – or appear to have – petered out. Telecommunications companies and Internet service providers failed to prove that it could deliver the reach and bandwidth required to formulate a cost-effective customer proposition for the consumer broadband market.
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