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Comcast Teaming Up With Electric Utility

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by guest, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. guest

    guest Active Member

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    Comcast Getting Into the Electric Utility Market - Keystone Politics


    On a call with reporters to discuss DEFG’s report, Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States, Robert Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, said that Comcast was teaming up with a retail electric supplier in the state. The electricity offering could be rolled out in the fourth quarter of this year. A representative from Comcast would not provide details, but did confirm “this is something we’re exploring.”


    “Now it will be a quadruple play,” said Powelson, talking about cable, internet, phone and electricity all bundled together. In Australia, one utility and telecom have partnered to offer up to seven bundled services.


    Comcast already has an energy play as part of its Xfinity home product, which offers home controls for lighting, security and thermostats. It leverages EcoFactor’s cloud service to fine-tune the thermostat for savings of up to 20 percent on heating and cooling.


    Some utilities are still back in the 20th century and aren’t deploying smart meters fast enough, so some competition from Comcast will hopefully rouse them out of complacency. This is the low-hanging fruit of home energy savings and efficiency, once we get the smart grid infrastructure built out – no easy task, but still quite achievable. Once you have a plan with Comcast for Internet and electricity, then you can do cool stuff like schedule your dishwasher or clothes dryer to run at 2 am when fewer people are drawing electricity from the grid.


    People rightly don’t like that Comcast is has a monopoly on Internet service provision, but it’s good they’re bringing more competition into the utility market. Now we need to get some more utilities into the Internet service provider market.
     
  2. guest

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    Apparently, Comcast is not teaming up with this utility as a play for its future use as a way of piggybacking cable/telephone/internet access on top of the mains electricity supply. Because, according to the following article from Oct., 2013, Broadband over Power Lines is not feasible!


    Whatever happened to Broadband over Power Line? - E & T Magazine


    It looked like a meeting of technologies that promised much in principle, but the marriage of high-speed data and mains electricity supply has proved to be a challenge too far for the engineers hoping to channel broadband over power lines.
    Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) is a technology that looked a highly promising proposition on paper: piggyback data communication signals on to existing power cables which already deliver electricity into homes and businesses, saving the provider the effort of digging up the environment or erecting wireless masts to provide the same Internet connections to computers and other connection devices. The technology was once lauded by national governments, the European Union (EU), and even the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), given its apparent ease of deployment and negligible environmental impact.
    Alas, the plaudits ended there. After numerous, global trials of the technology spanning the last decade, access BPL initiatives have - or appear to have - petered out. Telecommunications companies and Internet service providers failed to prove that it could deliver the reach and bandwidth required to formulate a cost-effective customer proposition for the consumer broadband market.
     

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