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elifino Donating Member (331 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 08:43 AM
Original message
Utilities to Offer Net Over Power Lines
A big Midwestern utility is joining with a start-up to offer high-speed Internet access over power lines, Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reported.


http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/02/technology/utilities_ne...
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. The basic technology has been around for 100 years
Obviously it was not internet technology, but the ability to transmit radio signals to rural listeners via power lines was invented in the 1910's.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ha! Well isn't that something
Edited on Tue Mar-02-04 08:49 AM by htuttle
Somebody gave me a stock tip about this about 6 years ago before the dot-com crash. They said watch for an IPO by the company that developed the technology. I forgot the tip after the crash.

Apparently their key innovation was that they figured out a way to get the signals to jump the line transformers, previously a show-stopping problem.

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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. bad idea
Edited on Tue Mar-02-04 09:05 AM by mahatmakanejeeves
Among amateur radio operators, broadband over power lines, or BPL, is regarded as a bad idea. Because of the frequencies used for BPL, shortwave and amateur transmissions could encounter overwhelming interference that render the radio services useless.

This page at the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) website contains links to several articles about BPL and amateur radio.

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/
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ithacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. seems like it would really mess with wireless DSL service too
this is really not a good idea.
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ramapo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Another gift to the corporations
The FCC is totally neglecting its responsibility to protect the interests of all users of the radio spectrum.

BPL creates a horrendous noise situation that will greatly reduce the usefulness of radio as a communication medium.

It is obvious that the FCC doesn't care one wit about this and is proceeding to throw a large bone to the utilities. Hmmm...how much has this group "donated" to the politicians who work for us?
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I Fear This Could Be the Start of the Clampdown
Edited on Tue Mar-02-04 09:28 AM by Crisco
Besides the possible strain on the grid as a potential bother, there is the idea of "the great leveler" being placed in the hands of the energy companies.

With the Telcos, you have relatively few people trying to organize against those companies trying to set US policy. The energy companies are a totally different matter, and I'd fear a motive towards free speech clampdown on behalf of the pipeline owners.
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. There are advantages, though.
What better way to reach people in rural areas, or impoverished nations?
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I want to know how they pass a 100 kHz signal thru a 60 Hz transformer
Or even 50 kHz like dial-up internet service, for that matter. The power network is designed for distributing 60 Hz power. If you put a high-speed high-frequency signal on the high voltage (~1000 volt) line, it will be blocked at the first step down transformer, that is basically a low-pass inductive filter.

I suppose they will add capacitors at the transformers to pass the signal around the transformer, but that will mean components, installation, and maintenance costs. Anybody?
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toopers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. And it automatically creates a network in the home,
where ever you have an outlet. That is awesome. You could take your computer outside if you have an outlet in the garden. I think that is pretty cool.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Betcha think it's cool when you can't listen to radio...
Because all you'll hear is "BWAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" all across the dial.

You can have the same damn thing with Bluetooth, and not have to have an AC outlet in your garden.
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. Farm livin is the life for me
I live on a farm well outside the reach of cable, DSL
or other conveniences. Life with a 56K modem sucks. Our
electrical coop has been following this, could be the next
wave of bringing rural areas equal to urban, much as basic
electrical service did 70 yrs ago.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. How much you willing to pay for it?
Since it's the "only game in town" it ain't gonna be cheap.

I live in a small town out in farm country. No DSL, cable is $45 a month, plus the cost of having cable Tee-Vee (that sucks) and the 2.4 Ghz radio network, which covers almost the entire county, is $85 a month.

Of course, once BPL comes to town and totally screws up radio reception, who cares? that's what internet radio and Echo-link and IRLP are for, right?

Until you try to listen to something that the Bushies don't want you to, and DARPA blocks access ("Boy, that Voice of Russia website sure is busy all the time, can't get it to load") and you can't hear your radio because the BPL is jamming everything.

And what will happen to small "Rural Route Radio" stations? the ones that bring you local news, your kid's BB games?, the Saturday morning swap-and-gossip show? the ones that are going dark because the advertisers are pulling their spots "because of that damn noise on your station that makes it hard to hear my ads"...

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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Hi triguy46!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. Don't hold your breath
I've seen this talked about for a decade or so now--mostly for European market--but nothing ever comes of it. Unless there are some recent developments I don't know about, this technology doesn't work, although someone always claims they're on the verge of making it work. I'd love to get high-speed Internet over my power lines, but I don't think it's going to happen.

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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. Ice Ice 9, baby!
Hmm, did anybody here watch "The Recruit" with Al Pacino?

Nice twists, a la "The Usual Suspects".

I was unsure as to whether or not it could really be done. (The net connection through the power lines, that is.)
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
15. I think this is better...
Edited on Tue Mar-02-04 11:17 AM by BiggJawn
http://www.remconline.net /

It's Wireless Broadband called "Fairnet", and 1.5 mB download speed to your home is $60 (it's come down $25 since I last checked) a month. The network covers almost all of Northwest Indiana, and it does not interfere with MF-HF radio reception.

I think this technology is more "sustainable" than BPL, which has been rejected every place it's been tried. But what do those Europeans know, anyway? They didn't want to get on board with the Great Iraqi Oil Plunder, either...

And I don't think Fairnet donates as much money to the BFEE as the BPL people did to get Mikey Bowel to give them a license to print money.
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