First showing up on the scene about 10 years ago, BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) is finally gaining some traction. Over 50,000 homes in the Cincinnati area are connected to the Internet via power lines and all of the citizens in Manassas, VA have the option, although only 500 homes actually have a BPL connection. BPL deployment has been slowed by the criticism that transmitting data over unshielded power lines can interfere with other important radio transmissions, such as police and fire broadcasts. But BPL is very attractive – users would just have to plug a BPL modem into an electrical wall socket and can get up to 130Mbps using the HomePlug AV standard.
A lot more money and interest is going BPL’s way: even Google has invested money in the field, and Earthlink is testing out access over BPL. Just think: with all of the devices that plug into electrical outlets, they could all be potentially hooked up to the Internet with all sorts of possibilities! You may also be interested in this primer on BPL.