BPL Coming to Nelson

Folks outside of Charlottesville and central Albemarle are out of luck when it comes to broadband. Practically speaking, it’s dial-up or nothing. So yesterday’s news of coming change must come as happy news to thousands of Virginians. David Hendrick wrote in yesterday’s Progress:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office has awarded a roughly $19 million loan to International Broadband Electric Communications Inc., an outfit specializing in delivering broadband Internet over existing power lines.

Customers of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in 11 Virginia counties are expected to benefit, including those in Albemarle, Buckingham, Nelson, Fluvanna, Louisa and Orange.

The technology is already being beta tested by 80 households in Nelson, apparently with success. It’s scheduled to be available by the end of the year, with speeds from 256kbps up to 3mbps. BPL is just one of many proposed “last mile” solutions, which is the method of getting data from the nearly-ubiquitous fat pipes zigzagging the country to each and every home in the nation. Orange County is considering solving this problem with wireless, but Nelson’s mountainous terrain makes BPL far more attractive.

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