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Third wire or third rail? [Broadband Internet access]

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Promising to deliver broadband Internet access over the same lines that deliver electricity sounds almost too good to be true - fast network access available to business and residential users anywhere in the electricity - equipped world. North American broadband-over-power-line (BPL) and European power-line-communications (PLC) proponents claim the technology appears to provide the long-awaited "third wire" to compete with telephone companies' DSL technology and television cable Internet access, or to provide a future conduit where none currently exists. However, not everyone following the gradual BPL-rollout service is a fan. The American Radio Relay League, the national organization representing amateur radio operators in the US, is fiercely opposed to allowing BPL deployments without strict rules restricting the BPL equipment's radio frequencies and power output limits, citing interference fears Moreover, an ARRL spokesperson says that a "pure" BPL approach is not the answer to delivering broadband to rural areas, and that BPL proponents are hawking a solution that shows itself to be a mere shadow of their claims.

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

July-Aug. 2004

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