Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Lack of Internet Over the Electrical Utility Power Lines Helps to Broaden the Gap Between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’ in the United States?

February 17th, 2010

Many may not be aware that the technology exists so that when one plugs the power cord to their computer into the electrical outlet on the wall, they could thereby be connected to the internet as well. This technology has been dubbed Broadband over Power Lines (BPL), or something to that extent. This technology is already in place and apparently in use in some places in our nation.

However, when I investigated this matter in an ad-hoc manner, the only reason I was ever given as to why BPL is not utilized in most regions is because the state and the utility companies have not determined how to divvy up the profits from such a venture. Or at least that is the answer I was given concerning the state of this technology in California. Furthermore, the electrical utility power companies are already working to utilize this technology for their own gain in measuring and reporting the amount of electricity utilized by the end user. And who knows what else the technology is good for monitoring?

Such an answer concerning divvying-up the profits brings up several troubling questions; not the least of which concerns who paid for the electrical utility power lines and why the never-ending need for profit at the expense of others and at the expense of the nation. By these questions I mean, first of all, did not the American people pay for the majority of utility lines in the United States, both electrical lines and telecommunications lines as well? I am confident that the American people paid for nearly all the utility lines through tax dollars. Granted the utility companies should be reimbursed for the maintenance of these lines. Also, I believe an answer behind the answer listed above includes the business models of the existing internet service providers who have long made gads of monies off of the public’s desire to be connected to one of the greatest technologies and learning tools of all mankind (i.e.: the internet).

In the back of my potentially cynical mind, however, I have to wonder if there is not some desire afoot to try to further consolidate the access to information and thereby keep the learning tool that is the internet available only to those that have the money to pay for such. If the American people paid for most, if not all, of the utility transmission lines in the nation, should not these utility lines be utilized to the greatest benefit of the people? Imagine the potential productivity increase in the nation if all that was required to link to the internet was the power cable to a computer.

Am I again missing something here? Please let me know your thoughts on this subject, if you would be so kind.

Adam Trotter / AVT

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