- Getting quality over the powerlines tends to be a trickier problem than at first blush, so delivering the higher level speeds (and voice over IP) can be problematic.
- The electric transmission “pipe” delivers into the last mile, we have power lines going to every home, but the technology typically requires “routers” of a sort, to get around things like transformers. In case you missed it, the US has A LOT of transformers. And there are typically lots of those things right before the our houses, so the last mile becomes costlier than expected.
That being said, these are engineering challenges that companies like Current have been working hard to solve.
But perhaps the real challenge is that the window for powerline carriage is shrinking. The big advantage is obvious, if you can make it work well, BPL allows electric utilities to deliver data and communications services over a massive already in place infrastructure, possibly substantially reducing costs. However as cable, DSL, satellite and wireless broadband make bigger and bigger inroads, reduce costs, and gain market share, the window for BPL to make its mark will get smaller and smaller. If BPL is to become a major player in the broadband world, it needs to get some big wins on the board.
Personally, I would love to see BPL roll out and put more pressure on telecom providers. So keep your fingers crossed.