Grand Ledge Pioneer in Broadband Technology

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

Many rural mid-Michiganders don't have access to cable or DSL internet. Broadband over power lines, or BPL, is widely considered a viable option when it gets going...and it's getting going in the city of Grand Ledge.

Lighthouse Broadband is being service now there. It's called broadband over power lines or BPL and it's limited right now to just a handful of computer users in Grand Ledge.

The hub of their internet service: their water tower. There are now transmitters up there sending a wireless signal to a device installed on just a few power poles. It then sends the broadband to plug-in modems along with the electric current.

David Shpigler, president of Lighthouse Broadband, says they're unveiling service here in partnership with Consumers Energy and they consider it a mutually beneficial arrangement

"When you are out of service, they'll know before you place a phone call because we're monitoring."

Aside from the conveniences, the appeal is accessiblity.

Whereas you might not be able to get cable or DSL in rural areas, the electric grid is ubiquitious. Once the transmitters are up and running, it requires just a jack and a plug.

Cost and connection speed are comparable to other broadband systems.

Note that some radio companies say their signals cross with BPL signals. The FCC is behind the technology for now.


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