It seems that Texas will be one of the leading states when it comes to Broadband Over Power Lines or BPL. The Texas Senate has in their recent bill SB 21 done a whole bunch of things to ensure that BPL gets a fair shake in their state.
The preamble to the bill shows the intention of the Texas lawmakers:
The "BPL deployment in Texas has the potential to extend broadband service to customers where broadband access is currently not available and may provide an additional option for existing broadband consumers in Texas, resulting in a more competitive market for broadband services."
Here are a few things that the bill says:
• Electric utilities may elect to allow an "affiliate" or an "unaffiliated entity" to own or operate a BPL system on the utilities’ electric delivery system;
• Electric utilities may allow an "affiliate or unaffiliated entity to provide Internet service over a BPL system."
• Neither the state nor local governments can require their electric utilities to install a BPL system on their power lines.
• BPL installation, operation and use may not be regulated by the state, a municipality or local government.
Texas lawmakers should be commended for their efforts to encourage broadband competition. I have been a bit cynical about this technology because I am not seeing it being rolled out in enough volume to be called truly competitive with DSL or cable. I am still a bit of a cynic but this sort of government backing puts a bit more "energy" in the FCC argument that broadband competition is coming.
Full Broadband over Power Line Story.