Report: Broadband over powerline technology may be primed for growth

Feb. 24, 2005 - New Millennium Research Council says trials and actual commercial deployments are on the rise.

Feb 24th, 2005

Broadband over powerline technology may be primed for real growth in 2005 and beyond across the United States, according to a new white paper released today by the New Millennium Research Council.

Trials and actual commercial deployments of Broadband over powerline (BPL) systems are on the rise, with more than 20 projects in operation in 2004 and more expected to come online this year. By one estimate, roughly a quarter million homes in the United States already had the opportunity to choose BPL services in 2004.

Entitled "Powering the Broadband Market in 2005 and Beyond," the NMRC white paper asks: "Is 2005 the year of BPL?"

The report says there are a number of signs that suggest this could be the time the technology begins its emergence as a viable competitor in the broadband market. Today, electric utilities across the country are deploying the necessary technology to provide broadband and other advanced communications services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), via the power lines that connect to virtually every home and business. Many industry watchers and representatives now believe BPL can dramatically change the landscape of the broadband market, offering new forms of competition and delivering high-quality service to remote areas. During the past two years, the commercial and media perspectives on BPL in the United States have evolved from categorizing the technology as "almost ready" to "really here," according to the report.

Though still in its early stages in the U.S., BPL technology already is available in such places as sections of New York City and Manassas, VA. Both of the firms for these cities - Ambient in New York City and Communication Technologies, Inc. in Manassas - are profiled in the report.

"The industry is finally moving beyond the theoretical stage to the real thing: actual commercial deployments of BPL that are being pioneered today by companies like COMTek," says COMTek President Joseph Fergus.

"BPL isn't the answer for every community and, in some cases, the technology is likely to be blended with other broadband platforms in order to provide the widest possible coverage," Fergus continues. "But the bottom line is unmistakable: BPL is finally here in a real way that will touch the lives of millions of additional U.S. consumers and businesses in 2005 and beyond."

The New Millennium Research Council is based in Washington, D.C. For more information visit www.thenmrc.org.


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