Broadband over powerlines gets a boost

Broadband over powerlines (BPL) may get a much-needed boost from a deal between Current Group and DirecTV. On Wednesday, Current and DirecTV announced a distribution agreement (see Techmeme roundup) that will allow the satellite TV giant to distribute Current's broadband and VOIP services by the end of 2007 and 2008.

Broadband over powerlines (BPL) may get a much-needed boost from a deal between Current Group and DirecTV.

On Wednesday, Current and DirecTV announced a distribution agreement (see Techmeme roundup) that will allow the s

atellite TV giant to distribute Current's broadband and VOIP services by the end of 2007 and 2008. The gallery at right details how BPL works.

The pact gets both companies out of a pickle. DirecTV is struggling to offer broadband service as telecoms and cable companies bundle services. And Current needs a bigger footprint to make BPL a credible rival to cable and telecom providers.

Under the deal, DirecTV will have access to the Current network and distribute BPL modems. Current service will initially be offered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. From there, DirecTV will offer the BPL service to other areas as they come online.

See Broadband over powerlines: It may take awhile

Although the DirecTV arrangement is a nice start, it's still early in the BPL game. On paper, accessing a broadband network by merely plugging a modem in is attractive. But Current's footprint is still small.

With any luck, BPL will get more exposure through this deal and gain momentum. As a consumer, I'll be happy to have another broadband option.

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