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Power To The People

ElectricityOne of the many things I am hoping to see at Demo 2004 this coming week is a broadband power line modem. I knew that eventually competition would begin to take hold in broadband. I first wrote about this in a reflection May 12, 1998 -- and must admit that my forecast was a bit premature. But now, at last, it is happening. At last year's Vortex Conference, Larry Babbio, vice chairman of Verizon, said that they had reduced their monthly DSL fee by $15 and that the reduction was "not promotional". Surely, the cable companies will not stand by and lose market share. Direct TV is aggressively advertising broadband Internet access via satellite. Having multiple competing sources of broadband will result in lower prices and higher speeds. That is how free markets work. What we need is even more competition -- and the electric utilities are about to offer it. In this morning's New York Times, a story by Stephen Labation, F.C.C. Begins Rewriting Rules on Delivery of the Internet, described how the Federal Communications Commission is devising new rules which will allow electric utilities to offer broadband over their power grids. (read more)



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