[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [RFI] Houston BPL

To: "Jim Larsen - AL7FS" <JimLarsen2002@alaska.net>,"RFI Group" <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] Houston BPL
From: "Henry Pfizenmayer" <pfizenmayer@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 14:20:18 -0700
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>

IBM Working With CenterPoint Energy On Broadband Service
Monday July 11, 12:16 AM EDT

AUSTIN, Texas -(Dow Jones)- International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) 
(IBM) has teamed with CenterPoint Energy Inc. (CNP) (CNP) on an initiative 
aimed at delivering high-speed Internet service through electric power 

So-called "broadband over power lines" technology, or BPL, enables access to 
the Internet simply by plugging a special modem into a standard electric 
outlet. It has generated widespread buzz among utilities, and many have been 
testing it.

Raymond Blair, vice president of IBM's BPL initiative, said the deal with 
Houston-based CenterPoint is IBM's first foray into the business in the U.S.

Under the deal, IBM is being paid to help CenterPoint with a pilot test of 
the service that runs through August and involves about 220 homes in 
Southwest Houston. IBM also helped CenterPoint design a "BPL technology 
center" that opened last month.

"We think this is a very big opportunity" for IBM, Blair said. "The key 
thing here is making sure this one is successful and it works out right."

Long term, Blair said he thinks most utilities in the U.S. will roll out 
such systems because they stand to benefit significantly from the 
technology. In addition to providing convenient Internet access for 
consumers, Blair said BPL technology brings "intelligence" to the power grid 
that can help utilities operate more efficiently.

IBM doesn't make the BPL hardware, but it hopes to become a major provider 
of integration and management services for such systems.

"We think this could be a new growth area" for IBM, Blair said.

IBM is far from alone among major tech firms in showing interest in BPL 
technology. Among them, Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG) recently invested in 
Current Communications Group, a start-up that offers high-speed Internet 
connections over the power system.

-By Bob Sechler, Dow Jones Newswires; 512-236-9637

RFI mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>