Is broadband set to make power lines sing?

from CNET News: "Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules for utility companies that seek to offer Internet access through their electricity grids. The FCC hopes its rules for broadband over power line (BPL) will help jump-start the use of the grid network to deliver high-speed Net access to U.S. households, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas. "

I was having a conversation recently with a group of product managers on the topic of broadband over power lines. Imagine if the power company delivered broadband to each home FREE. Overnight, everyone is wired. How would ubiquitous broadband affect our product offerings? Would free broadband attract people to one power company over another, in this age of privatization? Would it be an incredible differentiator? Or would it be something that all vendors must offer, like the hotels? That is, would we assume that broadband is available from any power company? And just to make it fun, what if they also put a WiFi antenna on every power pole? Now we have the makings of upsetting the entire traditional infrastructure? VoIP would blossom in no time, and the phone companies would be irrelevant. The phone companies would have to learn to compete on something other than dial-tone and cell coverage. What if you dialed '0' for tech support? Or what if the broadband provider backed up all your data to a secure, encrypted offsite location. Even your dad or sister could do system backups and restores.

How would broadband everywhere affect the products that you offer?

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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