Following last month’s Supreme Court decision in No. 04-277, National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. v. Brand X Internet Services, which denied the use of established cable lines to high-speed ISP competitors, there might be a new addition to the broadband internet market.
High-speed internet access is now available in three main ways: via a cable modem, a DSL line, or satellite (this being by far the least common). There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but the Brand X decision solidified a cable company’s sovereignty to it’s own cable lines. This effectively reduces the pool of possible competitive vendors, since even if all three methods are available to you in your particular location (which very often one or more is not available), typically you have the option of only one vender per method.
But today’s Houston Chroncle reports on the possibility of high-speed internet access being made available through powerlines (called BPL, or broadband over power lines), perhaps adding a whole new set of competitors to the game.
And on a related note, check out the possibility that the Brand X decision confers the regulatory powers of the FCC in a radically new way to IP services.