Google Invests In Broadband Power Line Company
Google, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Hearst Corp. are investing about $100 million in Current Communications Group which is a Maryland based company that offers broadband connections over electricity lines. Current Communications uses a technology that sends Internet signals over regular power lines. Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology enables the delivery of high-speed, two-way broadband through electrical outlets in homes and offices. It needs no special equipment in the home or office and transforms existing electrical wiring into a secure broadband network.
“These investments provide us with both capital and operating assistance as we continue to roll out Broadband-over-Power Line services to provide voice, video and data
services,” said William Berkman, Chairman of CURRENT Communications Group. “With roughly two-thirds of the nation still without broadband and many utilities looking for means to upgrade their distribution networks, the acceleration of CURRENT’s buildout is a clear win-win for consumers.”
Google has reportedly held interest in broadband internet for years, and in good reason. As Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group reports, broadband is on a tear! “According to the FCC (reported by CNET), broadband (BB) grew in all 50 U.S. states and was up overall by 34 percent in 2004. [However] During Bush’s tenure, the U.S. has declined from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Thus the issue will soon take on an competitive economic imperative.”
Here’s why BB will continue to gain:
* Government initiatives (e.g., municipal free access)
* Price competition
* WiMax (which can spread it to rural areas w/o infrastructure)
* Social pressure (can’t watch Live 8 on AOL w/o a high-speed connection)
* Workplace penetration driving home adoption
* The next generation
These factors will push high-speed Internet access to near ubiquity (and with it the consumer behaviors we’ve been tracking). The only question is how rapidly.