Can We Declare Broadband Over Powerlines Officially Dead?
from the bpl-was-doa dept
We’ve been hearing about broadband over powerlines (BPL) for over a decade, supposedly as the savior of broadband competition. There was just one problem: the technology never worked well enough to scale in any reasonable means. In the mid-90s, we had heard a prediction that BPL could only work in very small communities, and only at a limited range and speed. Yet, over the years, there were so many stories about BPL actually making headway in the market, we began to wonder if maybe (just maybe) someone had figured out how to make it scale. It turns out the answer is no. Despite being labeled the “great broadband hope” by former FCC boss Michael Powell, BPL has been nothing but a great broadband joke from the beginning, never getting more than 5,000 subscribers. Now, Broadband Reports that one of the highest profile BPL rollouts is soon to be shut down. The company that built the network and hyped it for years tried to sell it off, and having failed to find any actual buyers, had the city take it over. The city considered just shutting it down immediately, but has agreed to keep it going for a year or so, when it will likely be turned off for good.