PPL Telcom Pulls out of BPL Market

Carriers carrier PPL Telcom is getting out of the broadband over power line (BPL) business, the company announced today.

It is ending its market trial for residential customers in Pennsylvanias Lehigh Valley at the end of this month.

“While our market trials indicate that BPL technology is promising, the combination of a competitive marketplace and the need for significant scale has led us to the decision not to proceed as a retail communications service provider,” explained David Kelley, president of PPL Telcom, in a news release.

The company will continue offering fiber-optic capacity to other telecommunications companies and businesses in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region.

Residential customers affected by the BPL shutdown will receive a $50 credit so they can transfer to another ISP, PPL Telcom says. The carrier said it will fulfill its contractual commitments with companies in Allentown and Bethlehem, Pa.

PPL Telcom is exiting the BPL market as large cablecos and telcos squeeze smaller providers out of competition.

We knew the telephone company would provide DSL, and the cable TV company would also offer high-speed Internet, but we thought there would be a decent market for additional providers of the service, remarks Jeff Kagan, a telecom analyst. During the next six to 18 months, we are going to see the level of competition really heat up between the phone company and the cable TV company for all our business phone, television, wireless and Internet. As that happens, the few customers who would have been interested in a standalone, high-speed Internet service decreases and it is not worth it to many providers.

Not every power company that planned to offer Internet service will cancel those plans, Kagan predicts, but a number of providers likely will choose not to become third-party Internet service providers in the wake of tightened competition.

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