So you say nothing has changed in the telecom world?

by on August 18, 2004 · 10 comments

A lot of policymakers at both the federal and state level are still running around regulating telecom markets as if nothing has changed in the past decade. Well, when they can find time to put down their cell phones and Blackberrys for a minute, they might want to take a look at what the Atlanta-based Fonix Corporation announced yesterday.


Fonix’s LecStar Telecom affiliate has successfully tested VoIP over broadband over power lines (BPL) along with a southern utility provider. And LecStar is now partnering with other utilities to begin more widespread deployment of VoIP and broadband services over BPL throughout the south.

Think about this for a second… packet-switched communications and broadband service over a line owned by a local electrical company. Just think what happens when certain electric giants start offering VoIP-BLP as merely an small charge add-on to your power bill. With no more need for the old circuit-switched copper phone lines, the old telco giants could be in serious trouble. And if the power companies can find a way to cut some deals and get some good content to pump over their lines, then cable and satellite companies are going to be in real trouble too.

Meanwhile, millions of consumers continue to “cut the cord” entirely and just opt of wireless service for most of their communications needs.

And yet policymakers continue to regulate this industry as if it’s still 1934, the year the original Communications Act was penned.

  • Neb Okla

    Interestingly power companies have been working to leverage their Right of Way (ROW) toward data for a long time.

    In 1999, AEP replaced the lightning arrestor wires on the top of many power towers with dark fiber wrapped in a conductor. It still protects the power lines from lightning – but it can also carry fiber optic data.

    Shortly thereafter AEP claimed one of the largest dark fiber networks in the country.

    It sure would be nice to solve the “last mile” problem if a massive fiber optic infrastructure were able to travel over BPL from the substation to the home for example.

    It’d also be one less thing to plug-in. And to get an Internet connection, one need only find a power plug.

  • Neb Okla

    Oh, here is a photo of an AEP dark fiber installation in 1999.

  • Neb Okla

    Um, oops. Doesn’t look like this accepts HTML so for the time being I’ll just put the URL in my message:

    http://groups.msn.com/MarkNoblesPhotos/family.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=25

  • Neb Okla

    Interestingly power companies have been working to leverage their Right of Way (ROW) toward data for a long time.

    In 1999, AEP replaced the lightning arrestor wires on the top of many power towers with dark fiber wrapped in a conductor. It still protects the power lines from lightning – but it can also carry fiber optic data.

    Shortly thereafter AEP claimed one of the largest dark fiber networks in the country.

    It sure would be nice to solve the “last mile” problem if a massive fiber optic infrastructure were able to travel over BPL from the substation to the home for example.

    It’d also be one less thing to plug-in. And to get an Internet connection, one need only find a power plug.

  • Neb Okla

    Oh, here is a photo of an AEP dark fiber installation in 1999.

  • Neb Okla

    Um, oops. Doesn’t look like this accepts HTML so for the time being I’ll just put the URL in my message:

    http://groups.msn.com/MarkNoblesPhotos/family.m

  • Scott Dier

    BPL has a long hard road to follow too. I don’t think the FCC is allowing BPL to go past the ‘testing’ stage just yet — it causes harmful interference to existing radio services such as Amateur Radio, millitary, and other uses.

    Power companies have not been able to contain their systems within the FCC Part 15 rules, either.

    http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/08/17/2/?nc=1

  • Scott Dier

    BPL has a long hard road to follow too. I don’t think the FCC is allowing BPL to go past the ‘testing’ stage just yet — it causes harmful interference to existing radio services such as Amateur Radio, millitary, and other uses.

    Power companies have not been able to contain their systems within the FCC Part 15 rules, either.

    http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/08/17/2/?…

  • http://www.msn.com MonicaX

    Terrific blog you got. MonicaX

  • http://www.msn.com MonicaX

    Terrific blog you got. MonicaX

Previous post:

Next post: