All over Australia in the coming months we are going to see Power Utility companies offering Internet access and other services to consumers and business at speeds that will make current Broadband look like snail paced dial-up!
All of the major power companies across Australia have been trialling a service that allows broadband over powerlines. The trial has been conducted in Newcastle (NSW) and my spies tell me it has been a resounding success!
How it works.
It is quite simple really. When you sign up you will be given a package that will include a unit to plug into any power socket. This unit will then plug into a PC or server and give you true broadband speeds. (not the muffled speeds currently offered by Telstra).
The Speeds offered will be anywhere from 10 megabytes per second up to over 100 megabytes per second!However power companies will probably hold it at around 15-20 megabytes a second to begin with.
At these speeds – power utility companies will be able to offer Pay TV as the speeds needed for high definition television are only around 6 megabytes a second – something Telstra could offer today of they wanted to.
VOIP Telephone Services
I cannot wait for this to become mainstream. Fixed line telephone charges in Australia are simply ridiculous and as soon as someone gets it right (simplicity in the setup and usage) the whole of Australia will be dumping Telstra and other traditional fixed line companies.
Power companies could also offer steaming movies and I have no doubt they have already signed deals with Movie distribution companies.
Already music downloads is the consumer darling, both legal and illegal and this will continue to be popular amongst consumers.
What has to happen now.
I believe the power companies must get regulatory approval from the Federal government who might make it slow for them considering the impact it may have on the share price/sale of the remaining of Telstra. This will be their biggest hurdle.
How it can be a success.
For one it has to be so simple to set up and extremely reliable for it to become mainstream. It also has to have realistic pricing model. One that competes directly with the major Internet companies of today. It cannot be more expensive than current services with prices needing to start at $29.95 per month for at least 1 Gigabyte of data transfer. There also should be an unlimited package for around $100.00 per month. It will be its simplicity and reliability that will make this a success.
Footnote: There are also power companies testing network connections over power lines within buildings, which will also be interesting.