Telecom Trends: BPL Poised for Rapid Growth as access technology

Broadband over power line (BPL), a technology that uses the electricity power grid to bring broadband signals into buildings, is ready to take off, according to a report from Telecom Trends International Inc. Global revenue will reach $4.4 billion by 2011, says the firm.

Telecom Trends says that broadband power line communications is well-positioned to compete head on with DSL and cable modem technologies for a share of the broadband access market.

According to the report, there were significant BPL commercial rollouts last year, and dozens of trials are taking place on all the continents. The BPL access services market generated $57.1 million in revenue worldwide in 2004.

The previously single-purpose electricity distribution system now has a new function, says Naqi Jaffery, president at Telecom Trends. There are no longer any serious technical limitations to the deployment of BPL for high-speed Internet access, he adds.

While there is no global standard for BPL access, each vendor offers its own proprietary solution, says the firm, although BPL does use existing infrastructure, which lowers the cost of deployment and provisions services at competitive prices.

Jaffery says every household connected to the power grid can be offered BPL by the power utility in partnership with the appropriate vendor. As the grid becomes the so-called third wire to the premises, the massive scale presented throughout the world will drive costs ever lower, he points out.

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