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[RFI] BPL news today's WSJ

To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: [RFI] BPL news today's WSJ
From: "Rob Atkinson, K5UJ" <k5uj@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 23:27:10 +0000
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>

Excerpts and paraphrased portions: ------------------------------

Today's Wall St. Jour. (Friday 12/19) reports on p. B1 that Current Communications Group and TXU Electric plan to offer BPL to more than 2 million customers in Texas. It is reported that this is the biggest single deployment of BPL in the U.S. The schedule calls for the rollout before the end of 2006. Current is already operating BPL in the Dallas area and elsewhere in TX. The new service area will be in North Texas. Under the terms of the agreement, TXU the biggest utility company in Tex., will sign a 10 year contract for $150 million to use Current's technology which will also provide instant alerts about outages, and information about its electrical system. It is thought that the technology would also eventually read meters and remotely turn on or shut off power, eliminating utility jobs. TXU has been engaged in a wide-ranging effort to build new businesses and cut costs and has been one of the utility sector's top stock performers for the past 2 years.

Current, is a private family controlled company. It plans to raise $100 million from its investors, which include Google.

BPL had technical difficulties, and ham radio operators have objected to spectrum interference, but Current says its service doesn't interfere with ham radio.

The service is being explored through pilot projects, such as one with a customer owned utility in Manassas Va.

Top officials at the FCC have expressed support for BPL because they could expand the availability of high speed internet access to rural communities.

In suburban Washington D.C., Current has set up a home to conduct demonstrations of its power-line broadband. Among the 5000 people who have visited, are FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Richard Russell, technology advisor at the White House, and members of congress.


Rob / k5uj

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