Just when you thought broadband over powerline was officially dead, here comes IBM to revive it. IBM is partnering with International Broadband Electric Communications Inc. (IBEC) to target the 900 or so rural electric cooperatives with a BPL solution. IBEC is a BPL solution provider, and under the terms of the IBM agreement, IBM will “install Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks at electric cooperatives throughout the eastern US.” IBEC provides the equipment, as well as acts as the ISP for the electric cooperatives who select the solution. IBEC currently currently has 1,400 BPL customers.
According to an Associated Press article, the first IBEC identified buildout will cost $70 million to complete and covers 340,000 homes in Alabama, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Eighty-six percent of the population in the identified markets does not currently have access to cable or DSL broadband. IBEC expects the project to take two years to complete. They plan to offer a basic broadband service for about $30/month. Apparently BPL lives on. What are the odds that this latest BPL attempt will become reality?