Hmm, interesting - Broadband-in-gas (BiG) uses natural gas pipelines to deliver broadband Internet access? Guess this means you can serve up some ham & eggs and Web access too, on your gas oven range! ;) Boy, first it was the Internet over the phone wires, then it was Internet over cable, then it was Internet over power lines, what'll they think of next? Broadband-over-sewer lines?
Oh wait, they thought of that too! Apparently, thousands of Scottish homes could soon get high-speed internet access through the sewerage system. I will defer any "broadband in the bathroom jokes" here and simply share the BiG news.
Broadband-in-Gas (BiG) will hit the news when Nethercom Inc holds its BiG Executive Seminar in San Diego this weekend. Over 40 utility companies and other potential players are expected to participate. WTRS will be present to outline findings from its major new flagship report on BiG, perhaps the real answer to the “last mile” delivery problem for broadband services. The WTRS report shows that Broadband services using Ultrawideband (UWB) transmission technology delivered through natural gas pipelines may soon be provided to as much as 70% of the US population.
The completely empty spectral environment inside a natural gas pipeline provides maximum flexibility to select transmission power, spectral bandwidth and coding. Broadband service providers that adopt BiG can deliver twice the bandwidth to the end customer for the same installed cost as DSL.
The study finds that BiG alone stands to add nearly 20 million subscribers to the overall market by 2010, as compared to an overall subscriber forecast of 455 million subscribers globally. The study also finds that BiG CPE equipment revenues will account for more than $6.8 billion annually in 2009, with a compound annual growth rate of 194%.
BiG will provide additional profitability for broadband service providers, enhanced delivery to all individual user sites, as well as enable meter-less gas monitoring, and pipeline break detection. As William of Okham defined the famous “Okham’s Razor Principle”: Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate, which translates as "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily". Or, if you’ve already got pipelines in the ground, why not use them?
Growth in U.S. and Americas likely primary BiG market areas
Regulatory rule changes in the U.S. that have paved the way for the development of Broadband over Powerline will likely serve to encourage growth of Broadband in Gas infrastructure and value chain development at a pace far beyond that possible in other geographic regions. Adjacent countries such as Canada are likely to benefit from these BiG developments as the utilities infrastructures are linked loosely through international trade agreements, such as NAFTA, and are not physically separated by oceans as is the case with Asia and Europe.
A key advantage of Broadband-in-Gas derives from the use of the natural gas pipelines as transmission “pipes” for the UWB signal that will deliver broadband services. Leveraging both existing pipelines as well as existing fiber backbone infrastructure allows players in the industry to theoretically address as much as 70% of the US population with Broadband in Gas as a “last mile” solution.
Every company in the broadband market today is a potential player in the Broadband in Gas market. If the technology is embraced by enough large players, there is a very real possibility that BiG could become the ubiquitous POTS (plain old telephone service) line of the 21st century.
About West Technology Research Solutions LLC: WTRS is a market research and consulting company focused the last 5 years on emerging wireless technologies. A unique approach generates market forecasts using macro-economic methodologies that provide historically more accurate forecasts. Services include market research reports, concise market briefs, custom research and consulting.