…And BPL Takes Unexpected Turn in Dallas

Oncor plans to use the BPL service to detect distribution network issues with its power grid.
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In a related story, a BPL plan in Dallas is going to be used for a different purpose than originally intended. That’s because the owner sold its BPL service to a company that doesn’t intend to use it to deliver fast Internet service to homes.

Oops. That kinds of puts a kink in the commission’s pledge to treat BPL as the “third” wire into the home and enhance the broadband rollout.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Current Communications agreed to sell its Dallas BPL network to Oncor for $90 million. Oncor, which distributes electricity, told the paper it plans to use the BPL service to detect distribution network issues with its power grid.

“We’ve already used this technology to find problems before they lead to outages,” the paper quoted Oncor spokesman Chris Schein as saying. Information transmitted by BPL from meters, transformers and other electrical equipment will help Oncor prevent outages and reduce maintenance costs.

DirecTV has used Current’s network to sell BPL to customers in the first 64,000 Dallas-area homes to be wired for the service. The sale likely means those customers will lose the service, the paper reported.

Related

BPL Decision Detailed

The American Radio Relay League argued that the public did not have the chance to review all the information the agency relied on to make its decision.