Power lines, today's broadband hype

Data over power lines is beginning to take off, but it's far from being a mainstream competitor.

PC World has a story saying broadband over power lines is gaining steam, and cites some promising projects. That's all true, but it'll be a long, long time before it can provide real competition to the local phone and cable giants.

We asked AT&T CEO Dave Dorman on Friday what he thought about alternative broadband pipes, since Ma Bell is pretty squarely locked out of DSL these days. Power lines are interesting, but they're run by big monopoly utilities themselves, he said. Think of the local phone companies, but back when they were doing their immovable-object bit. His take: promising, but not present-tense.

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